Caleb Sturgis rising to contend Dan Carpenter for kicking position
Even though Carpenter has been a valuable asset to the Dolphins since being signed as an undrafted rookie in 2008, he had issues with consistency in recent seasons in Miami. This prompted the Dolphins to finally seek a replacement for him.
Sturgis has exhibited a strong skillset and a promise to deliver to the expectations. On Friday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sturgis managed to put all but one ball out of the endzone on kick-offs, building on a good training camp peformance summer. All this makes Sturgis a very strong candidate if not imminent choice to replace the lagging Carpenter.
Under the current circumstances, it is evidently Sturgis who has the advantage in this kicking competition. Carpenter demands a much larger paycheck, and has a history of missing irredeemable field goals during major games in the past. While Sturgis too is facing pressure in camp he is at least starting with a clean slate and fresh set of promises. While Sturgis may have a long way to fall given the high expectations being associated with him as rookie pitted against a veteran, the former University of Florida kicker isn’t prepared to lose this competition yet.
However, that does not mean that Carpenter lacks future prospects. Even if the Dolphins release him, which is ultimately the most likely move, Carpenter could still find takers around the league even on his current salary. Meanwhile, trades for kickers are rare in NFL but not completely unheard of. So, before opting to release their longtime kicker, the Dolphins are likely to shop Carpenter around. But if no one bites, the Dolphins might have to release him towards late preseason.
It is hard to predict where Carpenter will ultimately play this season but every day, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that his future at the Miami is coming toward its final chapter.
However, as veteran who is better than half the current NFL rostered kickers when on his game, Carpenter could still find teams looking to replace more questionable special teams performers. The coming weeks will have more to offer on Carpenter’s situation and the Dolphins’ take on the ongoing kicking completion.