Seahawks could cut Jason Myers but that would be a terrible mistake

Oct 17, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers (5) kicks an extra point from the hold of punter Michael Dickson (4) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers (5) kicks an extra point from the hold of punter Michael Dickson (4) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Seahawks finance team might celebrate cutting Jason Myers, but it would be a terribly risky move. It could kill the team on the field.

The Seahawks have every reason in the world to cut salary wherever they can. Okay, it’s mainly one reason, named DK Metcalf. Despite the swirl of rumors of a possible trade, the Hawks have been clearing cap space. Or maybe you missed the departures of Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner.

It’s true Wilson’s trade didn’t wipe his salary completely off the Seahawks books. Seattle took a $26 million cap hit but still saved $11 million overall by moving Number 3 (and his salary) to Denver. Bobby Wagner’s release certainly helped the cap situation as well. Duane Brown is another player who could still get it done on the field but was a victim of the ever-looming cap.

Seahawks should keep Jason Myers on the team for the indefinite future

There’s no doubt the Seahawks are nowhere near finished with the cap cuts, either. That’s where the name Jason Myers comes in. Myers had a stellar year in 2020 but regressed last season. Just one year after going a perfect 24 for 24 on field goals, Myers missed six kicks, converting only 74 percent of his attempts. You don’t exactly have to have the world’s mathiest skills to know that isn’t great. In fact, his ranking dropped from first in 2020 to 31st last year.

The story doesn’t end there either, dear 12s. Myers performed fairly well on extra points as he hit 44 of 47 attempts. Yes, his 93.6 percent performance placed him 17th in the league, but we’re talking about three points over the entire season. The missed field goals were a much bigger problem. One stat that hasn’t gotten much attention at all was his performance on kickoffs. It was, shall we say…not good.

The best kickoffs, of course, keep the opposition inside the 25 yard-line, or at least at it. When it comes to forcing touchbacks, Myers didn’t fare so well. Among kickers with at least 34 kickoffs, Myers ranks near the bottom again.  The best in the league was Vikings kicker Greg Joseph. 76 of his 94 kickoffs prevented a return for a nifty 80.9 percent. Or flip the stat; only 18 of his 94 kickoffs ever saw an attempted return.

Myers didn’t have nearly the same success. You have to scroll quite a bit down the page to find our Seahawks kicker.  Don’t forget to sort by touchback percent. Anyway, cutting out the chaff – all those kickers that had fewer than two attempts per game – Myers ranked 31st in the league.

Of his 83 kickoffs, only 31 resulted in touchbacks. That’s only 37.3 percent, and that’s not good. Again, flip the stat, and of his 83 kickoffs, Seahawks opponents ran the ball back 52 times. As I said before, that’s not good.

I do want to point out Myers was significantly better in 2020 on kickoffs. He was far from the perfection of his field goals, but he did force touchbacks on 52 of his 91 kicks. His 57 percent rate was still far below the league-best 87.7 percent of the Panthers Joey Slye. So, another reason to move on from Jason Myers, right?

Let’s not be so hasty though. Kickers aren’t the most consistent performers, clearly. Joey Slye, the touchback king of 2020, was so terrific in 2021 that he bounced around three different teams. The fact that none of them was Carolina tells you even more about the vagaries of the life of an NFL kicker.

The Panthers doubtless let him go because he missed seven field goals, so 2020 wasn’t entirely a great year. His touchback rate dropped from 87.7 to 63.8 percent, but he made 23 of 25 field goals, including all 12 of his attempts with the Commanders.

So, what does this all mean for Jason Myers and the Seahawks? First, he’s just as likely to bounce back and have a solid season as he is to repeat last year’s poor performance. Second, no matter who you bring in to replace him, that player is hardly guaranteed to be better than Myers.

Only three of 2020’s top ten kickers in field goal percentage ranked in the top ten in 2021. Ironically, Joey Slye, cut by the Panthers after 2020 ranked seventh in 2021.

That’s the double-edged sword of the Seahawks cutting Myers. He’s just as likely to have a fine season as a bad one. Any kicker, especially any kicker that’s still available, would be just as likely to have a bad year as a fine one. And then there’s the little fact that at the end of an absolutely terrible loss, Jason Myers put it all on himself. The Hawks lost to the Bears through a total team effort, but Myers accepted every bit of the heat.

Next. Three worst mistakes of Hawks offseason. dark

Yes, Seattle would save $4 million this year by cutting Myers, and they could certainly pick up a kicker for much less than that. Michael Badgley and Matthew Wright are both still available, doubtless for much less than the $5 million the Seahawks will pay Jason Myers. I can’t promise that Myers will have a better year than either of them or any other kicker. I am certain, though, that he’ll be a better teammate than any player in the league.