Whenever a Seattle Seahawks fan is asked about Blair Walsh, the immediate response is either “wide left!” or “that guy won a game for us!”. The Seahawks signed Kicker Blair Walsh yesterday, and hopefully, he can continue to win games for Seattle.
Longtime Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka will become an unrestricted free agent next month, and Blair Walsh will most likely serve as the replacement. Hauschka has been Seattle’s kicker since 2011, and will most likely have to sign elsewhere as Seattle has too many other offseason priorities.
Walsh, who was the kicker for Minnesota since 2012, was cut this past November after missing a PAT against Washington just one week after his 46-yard attempt against Detroit was blocked in overtime. Walsh was just15-19 on PATs and 12-16 on field goals before getting released.
Prior to the 2016 season, Walsh was considered one of the best kickers in the NFL. In 2012, Walsh connected on 10-10 attempts from 50 yards or longer and set an NFL single-season record.
You can’t help but imagine that his NFC Wild Card slip up was the reason why he struggled this past season. The Vikings were down by 1 point with 22 seconds left in that game, and then Walsh missed a 27-yard attempt, ending what was appearing to be the biggest upset of the season.
Although Walsh struggled in 2016, Hauschka was no better. Steven Hauschka, who holds a Seahawks record of 175 field goals in his career, missed 6 PATs, more than any other kicker in 2016.
Hauschka’s struggles were especially evident against Arizona this past season. Seattle tied Arizona 6-6 this season because Hauschka missed a 28-yard field goal in overtime. Also, the other time the two teams met, Hauschka missed a PAT that would have put Seattle ahead in what ended up being a late-season loss for the Seahawks.
14 Players on the Seattle Seahawks roster will become unrestricted free agents this March. As successful and loyal Steven Hauschka has been to Seattle, the team probably can’t afford to continue paying Hauschka, especially after his uncommon struggles in 2016.
With Hauschka making roughly $3 million last season, and Walsh making $1.15 million, it might be time for Seattle fans to say goodbye to Steven Hauschka and give Blair Walsh a chance.