There are a few NFL Punters out there with experience that could step in and do some kicking for the Bolts with Scifres sidelined. Listed on the NFL’s Free Agent Tracker, current unemployed punters include:
The Free Agents
Sav Rocca – he punted for the Eagles and Washington ________s for seven years, but is not with a team this year after getting cut by the ethnic slurs prior to the season. The drawbacks to him are his age (he is 41) and he is on the east coast. There is one plus though, he is Australian and learned to kick playing Aussie rules football. For those of you old enough to remember Darren Bennett, "the Mate" was probably the toughest and nuttiest punter to ever wear lightning bolts on their helmet.
Mat McBriar – his last team was the Pittsburgh Steelers and he has 10 years of NFL experience. He has been on the shelf since the end of the 2013 season. Like Rocca, he is also another refugee from Australian Rule Football, a big guy, and little younger (35) than Rocca.
Zoltan Mesko – A four year veteran, his last team was the Cincinnati Bengals. He was worked out to see if he would replace Rocca by the Washington franchise, but has remained unemployed in 2014. Mesko is the youngest of the bunch, but probably the most suspect. He is also not Australian, he is a Hungarian that was born in Rommania. He was cut by the Steelers during 2013 for being, well, there’s no nice way to say this, just plain awful. He was replaced by McBriar. About the only thing I can think of in his favor is just that "Zoltan" sounds like a real bad-a__ name and somebody not to be messed with.
Brian Moorman Mooorman is a two time pro-bowler that is on the Bills 50th anniversary all-time team. He was released by Buffalo after the 2013 and remains on his couch.
T.J. Conley The weakest of the bunch in terms of NFL experience, Timothy Joseph has not actually kicked in an NFL game since 2011. He was the Jets starting punter that year and after they waived him in the off-season prior to the 2012 camps, no other teams like him enough to give him a gig. He was in the Bengals training camp last summer.
The Camp Casualty
Another option would be to go back through the cut list and re-sign Chase Tenpenny, a punter out of Nevada that was in the Bolts training camp last summer. The intriguing thing about Tenpenny is that he has the size of a linebacker; 6’3" and 250 pounds. This team seems to like the familiar and known, so he may get a phone call at least. Of course, we don't know if the young man has found his life's work and good day job he does not want to let go.
Finally, there is the intriguing case of former Vikings punter, Chris Kluwe. The largest downside and question mark with Kluwe is that he has been out of football since the end of the 2012 season. However, the former Seahawk and Viking may be healthier now than he was for the last 5 years of his career.
He had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in January 2013, was recovering from that procedure and then released by the Vikings in May 2013. According to Kluwe, he punted with the injury for 5 seasons, only going under the knife when the discomfort grew to the point of where he could not function.
Kluwe also has some other history and would come with some controversy. He was an outspoken advocate for same – sex marriage equality in Minnesota during 2012. In 2012, he also wore an adhesive tape patch on his uniform during a game in support of Ray Guy being voted into the Hall of Fame.
He also has an active lawsuit against the Vikings for wrongful dismissal, despite the coaching staff that released him all being gone at this point. His version of the events leading to his release from the Vikings make for some interesting reading.
Kluwe does seem to be adjusting to life after football quite well, as he has published quite a few articles on the intersection of professional football and American culture, politics, and society. He is articulate, progressive, and outspoken. This would be an interesting hire for the Bolts, that is for certain.
Who do you think the Bolts should sign to fill-in for Scifres?
This poll is closed
Roll with Nick Novak