Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com mentions that rookie K Tyler Bass has the ability to overthrow the Bills current starting K Stephen Hauschka, who has won a Super Bowl and is currently ranked 12th all-time in field goal percentage.
Bills special teams coordinator Heath Farwell made it clear that there’s an open competition for the job this summer.
“It’s an open competition,” Farwell said. “It’s [Stephen Hauschka’s] job right now. He’s the incumbent. He’s had a lot of big kicks over his career. I mean, a history of good kicks in big games. In the playoffs, he was 4-4 this year. He’s still the guy, and it’s up to Tyler to beat him out.”
While the Bills used a draft pick on Bass, Farwell expects it to be a “great competition.”
“I remember calling Steve and I said, ‘Hey, there’s two ways you can go about this. You can shut it down or you can take this as a challenge and win the job. It’s your job, you go out, do what you do, and you’re still playing and we’d love to have you here and we want you here,’” Farwell said.
“That’s the beauty of sports, it’s competition, and it’s going to be a great competition because they both bring different things. Steve’s accuracy. We love where he’s at inside 49 yards. His leadership, his big kicks in playoff games. That’s a big thing that he brings. And then you have a young player like Tyler that is loaded with talent that has a lot of upside. He’s got it. He’s got to prove it in the preseason and training camp.”
“I think he wants to be [with the Jets], I just think he wants to get paid,” Bell said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN. “I think he’s in the same situation I was three years ago. He’s a young player. He’s been at the top of the game, playing at a high level and feels like, ‘Dang, I just want to get compensated.'”
“Me, personally, I hope he doesn’t get traded,” Bell added. “But I don’t think he’ll get traded. I do think he’ll be playing with the Jets. That’s just me, personally, because I don’t think he’s going to get traded. Honestly, why would you trade him? I wouldn’t trade him.”
- Brian Costello of the New York Post notes that G Brian Winters, LB Avery Williamson, and K Sam Ficken are fighting for their jobs as the Jets have brought in players they believe are capable of replacing them.
- Costello also says Winters has been with the Jets much longer than Williamson and Ficken, and has been through three head coaches during his career in New York.
- According to Costello, QB Sam Darnold is unlikely to be focused on his next contract, which Costello says he has not earned and is instead looking to improve as a player and win games.
- As for bringing in a pass rusher prior to the start of the season, Costello could see it happening but doesn’t see the Jets spending money on a player like Jadeveon Clowney or Markus Golden.
- Costello also says that there is no possibility of the Jets acquiring two first-round picks for S Jamal Adams.
- Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap believes that there is probably more benefit in the Patriots using the franchise tag on LG Joe Thuney again next year and trading him, rather than offering him a big contract extension this year.
- Fitzgerald doesn’t think that Thuney’s salary should be as high as Washington RG Brandon Scherff’s, but should certainly be in the $13 million a year range.
- According to Fitzgerald, if the two sides could agree on a contract that didn’t pay Thuney an amount over his tag number this year and gave the team cap relief, they could maintain their trade rights without making an additional investment in him.
- While it makes sense, Fitzgerald notes that it would be difficult and is leaning towards there being no new contract for Thuney.