When the Cardinals departed with Neil Rackers following the 2009 season, the team went the route of former Jets kicker, Jay Feely. Feely became a fan favorite in 2010 with a touchdown against the Broncos. His tenure with the Cardinals however, comes to a close today.
Feely's time with the team was filled with plenty of highs, with a few lows. He made a 61 yard field goal against the Bills in 2012, rushed for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos in 2010, and made a handful of clutch kicks that won a few games. Despite all his early success, Feely became a liability several times the last few years.
His most notable liability was his kickoffs. At 38 years old, Feely no longer had the leg to kick the ball through or deep into the endzone. When the kickoffs were moved, fans hoped that would change, but it did not.
Last preseason, the Cardinals brought in a few kickers to combat Feely, but Feely pulled it off and stayed the kicker for at least another season. He hit the ball wrong on his final kickoff attempt in 2013, which caused the San Francisco 49ers to win the game late.
This past offseason, the Cardinals re-signed Danny Hrapmann and signed UDFA Chandler Catanzaro to battle it out in OTA's. The three kickers survived and made it to preseason games, before Hrapmann was eventually cut and the battle was down to two.
Catanzaro was perfect on his field goal attempts for the preseason, nailing all three, whereas Feely missed a 48 yard attempt and struggled getting air under his kickoffs.
While most fans wanted Feely gone, it is sad to see a player who created so many memories for fans go. I personally wish him the best in his ventures outside the organization.
*Ryan Lindley and Max Starks were also among the first cuts.*