Last Friday, the Arizona Cardinals came to terms on a two-year contract with free agent kicker Jay Feely. We talked about the signing then and the impact it would have on the team, but we haven't discussed very much about Feely. I figured now would be a good time to get to know his career thus far.
Feely was signed as a rookie by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001. That year he was a consensus all-rookie selection, making 29 of 37 field goals. That same year, Feely converted the longest field goal of his career - 55-yards - against none other then the Cardinals. Feely remained in Atlanta through the 2004 season, where he was 2 for 2 on field goal attempts in the playoffs.
|Jay Feely||FG Attempts||FG Made||FG %||Long|
The Giants signed Feely to a three year contract the following season, where he recorded the best field goal percentages for any Giants' kicker in a two year span(83% and 85%). Unfortunately, Feely botched three game-winning attempts to beat the Seahawks in 2005, and that can be blamed as the primary reason he was released in the 2007 offseason. The Dolphins signed Feely that offseason to a three year contract. During his first season in Miami, Feely experienced the best year of his career, missing only two field goal attempts and setting the franchise record for field goal percentage(91.3%). Feely ended the 2007 season on a 164-extra-point-made-streak, and he also compiled five onside kick recoveries. However, when Bill Parcells arrived in 2008, Feely was released during the offseason.
That offseason, Feely was signed by the Chiefs but was released the next day. He didn't find a home until the Jets needed a kicker for insurance purposes after Mike Nugent struggled from injuries. Feely played in New York for the remainder of the 2008 and 2009 seasons. While there, Feely set a franchise record of 24 straight field goals made. He also revamped his workout regimen, adding upper body mass to avoid injuries.
We all know the rest - Feely was unexpectedly signed by the Cardinals last Friday. I wanted a little more information on him so I also spoke with lead writer of Gang Green Nation - John B - who provided his own thoughts:
Feely's pretty accurate. He was signed before Week 2 in 2008 to temporarily replace Mike Nugent. He performed so well that Nugent never saw the field again. Feely set the franchise record for most consecutive made kicks. One caveat are the kicks he did miss ended up being costly ones. His streak ended in an overtime loss to the Bills. He missed a makable try and had one blocked in a last minute loss to the Falcons, and he missed a pair in the AFC Championship Game. His leg on kickoffs isn't that big, but he does like to mix it up in coverage. He's definitely not afraid of contact.
Feely also made a game-winning field goal against the Patriots in 2008 in a win that landed the Jets in first place in the division. He's hit or miss and in all honesty, he sounds like a similar version of Neil Rackers. As they say - change is good. Maybe a change for both Feely and the Cardinals will help. What are your thoughts on Jay Feely?