In yet another non-tagging move in today’s NFL franchise tag deadline, the Seattle Seahawks did not tag kicker Steven Hauschka as expected. Although his accuracy was decent enough in 2012, the Seahawks may be moving on to a younger kicker with a stronger leg in this year’s draft.
Hauschka attempted four field goals of over 50 yards last season, and only connected on one of them. For this reason, the Seahawks may have decided that the $2.9 million price tag for tagging a kicker (or punter) was too steep with the number of strong young legs entering this year’s NFL Draft.
Two of the young legs the Seahawks may be considering both come out of the state of Florida, with Caleb Sturgis (Florida) and Dustin Hopkins (Florida State) both having exceptionally good accuracy and the ability to kick from beyond 50 yards. Both kickers are predicted to be taken in rounds 5-7, so the cost of signing either of them would be significantly less than tagging Hauschka.
Spending less than a couple of years with a team is nothing new for Hauschka, who has bounced around between teams (and leagues) since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of North Carolina State in 2008. Since then he’s had a cup of coffee with six NFL teams, and one UFL team.
Other than the putrid 1-4 from 50+ yards in 2012, Hauschka was good on 23 of 23 field-goal attempts from inside 50 yards during the regular season and made all three of his attempts in the playoffs. He missed two PATs, and had one field goal blocked. The misses from long distance I’m sure are a concern to Seattle head coach Pete Carroll.