But Forbath, a former all-American at UCLA who had a standout preseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but has yet to kick in a regular season NFL game, said he’s hopeful that he will be the player to give the franchise some stability at the position.
“I’m hoping to stay here a long time,” Forbath said in the locker room at Redskins Park before his first practice with the team.
The Redskins signed Forbath Tuesday after he worked out alongside veteran kickers Olindo Mare and Josh Brown. The team released veteran kicker Billy Cundiff two days after he missed a 31-yard field goal attempt in Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at FedEx Field.
The Redskins signed Cundiff before the season after a kicking competition between Graham Gano and Neil Rackers during training camp and the preseason. Cundiff missed five of his 12 field goal attempts with the Redskins. The team retained him after he missed three of four field goals but connected on a game-winner in a 24-22 triumph Sept. 30 at Tampa. But when Cundiff missed another short field goal against the Falcons, a game in which he also connected on a 23-yarder, the Redskins made a move.
“I was hoping,” Forbath said. “I never wish that any guys miss. But I knew it would come. It comes every year for some guys. I just had to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Forbath was named an all-American and won the Lou Groza Award as the top kicker in college football in 2009. He played one more season at UCLA and was signed by the Dallas Cowboys in August 2011 as an undrafted rookie. He spent all of last season on the reserve-non-football injury list with the Cowboys because of a quadriceps injury, then was released in April and claimed off waivers by the Buccaneers.
He made all five of his field goal tries for Tampa during the preseason, including 51- and 55-yarders, but knew all along that the Buccaneers would keep their talented incumbent kicker, Connor Barth.
“They gave me opportunities and I took advantage of them,” Forbath said. “I can’t thank them enough for giving me those opportunities.”
The Buccaneers released him, as expected, before the season, and Forbath said he went back to UCLA to train and wait for his chance. He’s getting it now.
“I’ve talked to a lot of kickers in the league and it’s taken them from team to team to team to stay on a team,” Forbath said. “So two years, I’m not complaining about that.”
The Redskins are counting on Forbath’s talent to outweight his lack of NFL experience. Forbath also must work on his kickoff skills. At UCLA, Forbath said, he relinquished those duties to a kickoff specialist.
“That’s been my key thing I’ve been working on,” he said.