Taylor Bertolet had the locker closest to the door Thursday night in the Jets’ locker room. As he got dressed, reporters gathered around and a few teammates offered him encouragement on their way out.
Then, Bertolet turned and faced the reporters and answered questions about going 1-for-3 on extra points in the Jets’ 22-10 preseason win over the Falcons. He did make a 49-yard field goal, but the focus was on the two misses and the Jets’ continuing search for a kicker.
“I’ve just got to do a better job,” Bertolet said. “My job is putting it through the uprights.”
In fairness to Bertolet, he had just three practices with holder Lachlan Edwards and the two may still be getting used to each other. On both kicks, Bertolet missed wide left. He said after the game that he “wrapped around the ball a little bit.”
Whatever the reason for Bertolet’s struggles, he had better get them straightened out fast. It would not be a surprise to see the Jets bring in another kicker to compete with Bertolet as early as this week.
General manager Joe Douglas surely will be searching the waiver wire every day to see who shakes free. There currently are 14 teams that have two kickers on their rosters. So there should be 14 cut in the next two weeks.
The most recognizable name could be Dan Bailey. The longtime Cowboys kicker is on the Vikings, but he has struggled. Minnesota traded a fifth-round pick to the Ravens for Kaare Vedvik this week, so Bailey is expected to be a goner. The Jets looked at Bailey last year before ultimately going with Jason Myers.
Myers is the example Jets fans can look at to show you can find a kicker just before the season starts. The Jets claimed Myers off waivers in the last week of August last year after the Seahawks dumped him. He went on to have a Pro Bowl season. Then, the Jets let him walk in free agency and he went back to Seattle.
Bertolet lost out to Myers last year. This year, he knows the Jets may bring someone in that he will have to beat out.
“There’s a possibility that can happen,” Bertolet said. “It’s out of my control. It’s not my call. If there is, great. I’ll thrive under competition.”