Dan Carpenter has given the Miami Dolphins some very solid years of service. Unfortunately over the last two seasons, the Dolphins have lost games by 3 points or less far more often than they would like. Last year, the Dolphins lost several games by less than three and those came on the leg of kicker Dan Carpenter.
The Dolphins failed to give Carpenter competition for last years training camp, that won’t be the case this year. After drafting Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis in the fifth round, the Dolphins have decided to pit a “Carp” against a “Sturgeon”.
Sturgis was the top rated kicker in this years draft and the Dolphins had been rumored to have a high level of interest in the prospect. They obviously did when they used their fifth rounder on him. Shortly afterwards the Buffalo Bills used a sixth rounder to take kicker. Unlike other years, Ireland didn’t wait to lose players he wanted, he drafted them when he wanted them.
Sturgis isn’t a lock to make the roster but he is a lock to compete and he is good. Missing only one kick outside of the 40 yard line last year. It’s hard to predict how a kicker will translate to the NFL. The pressure is different and there is no love for the position. Teams swap kickers from time to time, more than any other starters on a roster.
The Dolphins stand to save close to 3 million dollars in cap space by releasing or trading Carpenter at some point before the season, but that is of course if Sturgis can actually win the battle/competition. Dolphins fans have grown to favor Carpenter’s big leg but like everyone, missed FG opportunities will quickly turn. Last year Carpenter missed FG’s against the NY Jets and Arizona Cardinals, both of which would have been game winners.
He won’t walk through training camp alone this year.
For the record, I actually like this pick and was thrilled that the Dolphins drafted him. He has a tremendous upside, potential to have a huge impact on the rosters cap situation, and could become a fan favorite quickly. He could also become yet another goat leaving the Dolphins looking for answers at the position later.