Well I guess everyone experiences “cut-remorse,” or at least the Saints did luckily for kicker Shayne Graham, who was resigned Tuesday after being released three days prior.
To make room for the kicker, the team waived second year quarterback Ryan Griffin. It’s still unclear if this was a planned procedural move all along, but it would make sense if the Saints wanted to avoid having the promising young quarterback Griffin snatched away by another quarterback-needy team.
“There are definitely times in my career where I’ve been on top of the world and times where I feel like the world was falling down around me. But you’ve still gotta be ready for the next opportunity, because its the most important one.” -Shayne Graham
Graham, along with fellow kicker and challenger Derek Dimke were released Saturday, along with 25 others, for cut down day. Although Graham and Dimke both showed some inconstancy throughout summer training camp, coach Sean Payton continued to express faith in both candidates, and ultimately it seems the 36 year old Graham beat the younger kicker out for the Saints kicking position. Graham made all four of his field-goal attempts in the preseason but did however miss one of the experimental 33-yard extra-point attempts in Week 1.
Graham’s brief tenure with the Saints has been a microcosm of his 13 year career, spent with 10 different teams. He joined the Saints last December when they decided to release longtime kicker Garrett Hartley.
Aug 15, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Ryan Griffin (4) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Graham started strong with the team, including a clutch performance in New Orleans’ 26-24 wild-card playoff victory at Philadelphia. Graham completed all four field goal attempts that game including an impressive 32 yard game winner as the time expired. However just a week later Graham missed two long field goals in tough weather conditions in divisional-round playoff loss at Seattle. Graham has secured 85.5 percent of his field goals through out his career.
Graham said in an interview last week, he considers his ability to deal with the highs and lows as an asset. Apparently the Saints agree, all those experiences last season no doubt helped Graham earn the Saints’ trust over a more unknown commodity.
“There are definitely times in my career where I’ve been on top of the world and times where I feel like the world was falling down around me,” Graham said. “But you’ve still gotta be ready for the next opportunity, because its the most important one.”
As far as Griffin is concerned, the Saints’ decision to release him Tuesday, is kind of a nightmare for the young quarterback seeing as most teams have made other arrangements at this point for their back up QB positions. Although there is still a possibility this was all done by grand design, since the Saints’ are are still high on Griffin’s long-term future even though he wasn’t able to beat out veteran Luke McCown for the backup job.
For example, the Saints signed Griffin last year from their practice squad to their active roster only after the St. Louis Rams offered him the opportunity to sign with them.
Griffin will now be available to all 31 teams through waivers before he is eligible to be signed to the Saints’ practice team.