The Washington Redskins have agreed to terms with veteran free agent place kicker Shayne Graham, and Coach Mike Shanahan said that he will stage a competition between the 11-year veteran and second-year incumbent Graham Gano for the job.
Graham, who kicked eight seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals before spending time with the Giants and Patriots last season, boasts a career field goal percentage of 86 percent. Last season, he was 12 of 12 on field goal attempts in eight games with New England.
Gano, meanwhile, struggled in his first full season NFL season, missing 11 of his 35 field goal attempts for a clip of 68.6 percent. Leg strength isn’t a problem for Gano, who in 2009 went 4for 4 during a four-game stint with Washington. Yanking the ball was, however, and he has changed his approach (going from a three-step run-up to two steps) to improve his accuracy.
Last season, Shanahan expressed confidence in Gano despite his struggles. But the coach said the Florida State product’s job isn’t secure.
“Looking at [Gano’s] percentages last year, he knows there’s going to be competition and he’s got to perform and if not, somebody’s going to take his spot,” Shanahan said. “Everybody’s going to have competition.”
Gano didn’t seem outwardly fazed by news of Graham’s impending arrival.
“I know him. We’ve spent time together this offseason,” Gano said. “I welcome the competition. It only makes you better.
Graham was expected to arrive later on Monday, although he can’t practice until Thursday.
One thing is certain: By the end of the preseason, a Graham will have won the kicking job for the Redskins.