NFL kickers may be subject to the most volatile careers in professional sports.
Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely may be finding that out the hard way.
By all accounts, Feely had a solid, if unspectacular, 2013 season. He connected on 30 of 36 field goal attempts (83.3 percent) with a long of 52 yards — a season that fell in line with his career average of 82.7 percent.
But Feely missed a pair of field goals in the Cardinals’ 23-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers to end the season, and also misfired on a kickoff at the end of regulation that the 49ers returned 45 yards to set up a game-winning 40-yard field goal from San Francisco kicker Phil Dawson.
And with Feely entering free agency this offseason, some may have a feeling that the 13-year NFL vet may not be asked to return. But don’t count Feely among that group.
“We’ve talked … They want me back, I want to be back, so hopefully we can get that done,” Feely said as a guest of Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday.
“I think any time you have a bad game the last game, it’s the lasting thought. It’s natural for that to linger. It lingers to me every day. There hasn’t been a day this offseason I haven’t thought about it and there won’t be a day I don’t think about it. It drives you. They’ll look at the entire season, compare it to the rest of the NFL and make their decision. I don’t want to go anywhere.”
Feely has been with the Cardinals for the past four seasons, never making worse than 79.2 percent of his field goal attempts.
Feely said he understands that there will likely being ongoing competition at the kicker spot after the Cardinals brought in Dan Carpenter during the season and tried out internet sensation Havard Rugland, also known as “Kickalicious,” in the wake of Feely’s disappointing end to the season.
“Their job is to bring in people to compete,” Feely said. “I kicked the ball great when they brought in Carpenter. I think one of the things I’ve shown throughout my career … I’m a competitor. I respond well to adversity. I’ve always responded my best. If I do come back, there will be competition.”