Alex Henery burst onto the scene in 2011 when he made 24-of-27 field goals for an 88.9% field goal percentage that put him atop the list in franchise history and also put him near the top (third) for most accurate rookies in NFL history. Since then he has been adequate at best and some would even argue his adequacy.
Since 2011, no kicker in the NFL has attempted fewer field goals from 50+ yards than Alex Henery's five. Since Henery entered the league in 2011, his 51-yard "long" is the shortest of any full time kickers in that span. From 50+ yards, Henery is just 2-for-5 in his career. Henery, who turned 27 on Monday, has watched his kicking accuracy decline in each of his three seasons in the NFL from 88.9% his rookie season in 2011 to 87.1% in 2012 to falling to 82.1% in 2013, his first season under Chip Kelly. His 82.1% field goal percentage ranked him 22nd in the NFL
In order to try and upgrade the position, the Eagles brought in some competition for Henery following the NFL Draft. Of the 15 undrafted free agents the Eagles signed after the draft one of them stood out above all else, Vanderbilt kicker Carey Spear. Spear, nicknamed "Murderleg," has shown the ability to nullify opposing kick returners. The former Commodore kicked 46 of his 66 kickoffs in 2013 for touchbacks. He has a strong leg as is clear from his numbers when he went 4-for-5 in field goal attempts beyond 50 yards over the last two seasons at Vanderbilt and kicked a 61-yard field goal in high school.
Unfortunately, Spear is about inaccurate of a kicker as you will find and certainly has not put any real competition on Henery and was one of the first players cut on Saturday but that doesn't mean the Eagles are done looking for kickers. The team acquired kicker Cody Parkey from the Indianapolis Colts yesterday.
During his senior season at Auburn, Parkey led the nation in touchbacks with 69 and 57.3% (142-of-248) of his career kickoffs at Auburn went for touchbacks. While he has shown a big leg, Parkey wasn't the most accurate kicker. He was 15-for-21 (71.4%) last season going making everything inside of 30 yards, going 3-for-5 from 30-39 yards, an impressive 5-for-6 from 40-49 yards but wasn't great from deep going just 1-for-4 from beyond 50 yards with his season long coming from 52 yards.
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Zach Berman reports the Eagles are still scouting teams with two kickers including the Buffalo Bills. Philly.com's Jimmy Kempski reported last week Bills kicker Dustin Hopkins could be a good option for the Eagles given his leg strength.
Henery was a fourth round pick in 2011 so the Eagles are not going to ditch him and move on unless there is a real upgrade possible. Spear was not the real upgrade and Parkey looks to be only a kickoff specialist but it would behoove the Eagles to continue their search for an upgrade at kicker.
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