GLENDALE, Ariz. — Talk about the full range of human emotion.
Dan Carpenter was cut last Wednesday by the Miami Dolphins — the team that first gave him an opportunity as an undrafted rookie out of Montana in 2008.
Monday, Carpenter became a father for the first time and Wednesday, he was signed by the Arizona Cardinals to a one-year contract.
“It’s been a little bit of a tornado the last five days or so,” the kicker said following Wednesday’s practice at University of Phoenix Stadium. Carpenter wore #2 on his red practice jersey and did nothing more than observe his new teammates.
“They didn’t want me to hop off a five-hour plane ride and have to come out here and kick.”
Carpenter had been the Dolphins’ placekicker since winning a training camp competition with Jay Feely, the Cardinals’ incumbent kicker. But he lost the job this year to Caleb Sturgis, a fifth-round draft pick out of Florida.
“It’s kind of a little déjà vu,” he said. “I feel a little bit like a rookie again, not knowing a lot of the guys. I do know a few more faces than I did six year ago.”
Feely drew the ire of Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians after missing a 30-yard field goal in last week’s 12-7 preseason win over the Dallas Cowboys. The first-year head coach said he had a talk with Feely and called the miss “unacceptable.”
Carpenter knows that roster competition is a huge part of life in the NFL, and it’s nothing personal against Feely, despite the history that exists between the two.
“He’s a great guy, he’s a great competitor — obviously he’s a great kicker, he’s been in this league for many, many years — more than I have, so it’ll be fun,” he said.
Reports circulated earlier Wednesday that the Cardinals were one of several teams interested in securing the five-year veteran’s services so late in camp.
“There were a few teams that actually we had been talking to, but it all came down to where I felt like I had the best opportunity to help the team out,” Carpenter said.
And the fact that the Cardinals’ home stadium is a dome was a factor as well.
“It’s not a negative thing,” he laughed.