The Redskins spent a seventh-round pick on Arkansas place kicker Zach Hocker this spring, hoping to bring in a youngster with a strong leg who would challenge incumbent Kai Forbath.
Their competition lasted all preseason, with the rookie shining initially, hitting a pair of field goals and making a special-teams tackle during the opener against New England, while Forbath was short on his lone attempt from 46 yards.
But Saturday morning, roughly eight hours before the NFL’s deadline for final roster cuts, it was Hocker who was released.
It all came down to Thursday’s preseason finale at Tampa Bay, in which Hocker missed his lone field-goal attempt, from 39 yards, wide right. Forbath delivered from 45 yards to open the scoring.
Forbath, a third-year veteran, finished the preseason 4 for 5 on field goals and made all of his point-after attempts and show improved distance on his kickoffs.
Hocker was 2 for 3 on field goals.
Gruden voiced satisfaction with both heading into Thursday preseason finale, saying he felt the Redskins would do well with either. After Hocker’s miss, the coach conceded the rookie “missed a great opportunity.”
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