- We better figure this thing out sooner rather than later IMHO.
â€¢ While the Atlanta Falcons continuing experimenting with "street" free agent kickers Zac Derr and Tony Yelk, neither of whom ever has attempted a field goal in an NFL game, 12-year veteran Todd Peterson, the team's placement specialist, is waiting for the phone to ring. But not necessarily for a call from the Falcons. Despite the fact Peterson connected on 23 of 25 field goal tries in 2005, a 92-percent success rate that tied for fourth-best in the league, Falcons' management has demonstrated no inclination to re-sign him. In some ways, in fact, Atlanta has suggested that it feels Peterson will be available as a training camp safety net if the untested duo of Derr and Yelk flops.
Peterson does have strong ties to Atlanta, and probably doesn't want to have to move his family again, but he definitely will listen to offers if another team calls. And his agent has had conversations with at least one other franchise that might yet need a veteran kicker before the start of the season. "I'm healthy, my leg feels strong, and I'm ready to kick," Peterson, 36, said this week. "I'm out there kicking on a regular basis because I know I'm not done yet and I feel like I can still help some team. I'm even practicing a few kickoffs everyday, in case someone calls and they want me to do that as part of a workout."
Peterson did not kick off the Atlanta in 2005, instead leaving that chore to punter Michael Koenen. For his career, Peterson has made 235 of 296 field goal tries, a 79.4 percent conversion rate. He's probably lost some distance on longer kicks, but still hits most of the realistically "makeable" kicks, and should be in someone's training camp. Fact is, in the diluted free agent market, Peterson and fellow kicker Paul Edinger might be two of the better players still available.