Former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes is now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For a minute there, it looked like Tynes would be without an NFL team at the start of the season, but Bucs kicker Connor Barth created an opening when he tore his Achilles tendon in what is being classified as a non-football injury.
The Giants had already decided to move on from Tynes when they signed Josh Brown to a contract in March, but now that Tynes has found an NFL team of his own, it will be easier to quantify the impact of the switch. Although Tynes, who spent six seasons as the Giants' kicker, will always be remembered for his heroics in the 2007 and 2011 NFC Championship Games, the Scotsman was not without his limitations.
Accuracy was never a problem for Tynes, as he was over 80 percent on field goal tries in all but one season he spent with the Giants, but distance was another story for him. Tynes never made more than two kicks from 50 yards away or further during a single season in his NFL career. In fact, the most he ever attempted from that range in a season was four. That makes you wonder if Tynes' accuracy was more a factor of him being a good kicker or him just not being tested that much.
Brown, on the other hand, is a kicker who is much more accustomed to kicking from deeper territory. With the Rams from 2008 to 2011, Brown was a combined 15-for-21 from 50 yards away or more. That's a good rate of success even when considering that Brown was playing his home games indoors at the time. Plus, even when he played outdoors, Brown didn't shy away from long kicks. In Seattle for his first five NFL seasons, Brown went 13-for-22 from 50 yards and further.
Brown had a lousy season with St. Louis in 2011 (75 percent field goals made) before he was replaced by Greg "The Leg" Zuerlein in 2012. However, when Mike Nugent of Cincinnati got hurt towards the end of the regular season, Brown was picked up off the street and hit11-of-12 field goals. That was enough to convince the Giants that he would serve well in a full-time role.
The veteran is now 34 years old, and with just one out of four kicks from 50-plus yards away made in his last two NFL seasons, it's unclear if age has sapped all of Brown's kicking strength. If he can still boot it, though, Brown is a good NFL kicker who will make sure that Giants fans aren't clamoring for Tynes during the 2013 season.