UPDATE (4:57 p.m. ET): It appears Nick Folk has not, in fact, won the New England Patriots kicker competition.
Shortly after news broke that New England had waived rookie Justin Rohrwasser, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported veteran Nick Folk had been cut, as well.
The moves left the Patriots with zero kickers on their 53-man roster. They’ll need to sign one before next Sunday’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins.
Chase McLaughlin, who was waived by the Indianapolis Colts, is one candidate. Massachusetts native Steven Hauschka is another. He was cut by the Buffalo Bills last week.
The Patriots also could re-sign Folk on Sunday after moving one or more players who make their roster to injured reserve. As a vested veteran, Folk will not be subject to waivers.
ORIGINAL STORY: Experience beat out upside in the New England Patriots’ kicker competition.
The Patriots waived fifth-round draft pick Justin Rohrwasser on Saturday during their final round of roster cuts, according to a report from Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal.
Nick Folk was New England’s primary kicker for the second half of the 2019 season. He converted 82.4 percent of his field-goal attempts (14 of 17) and 100 percent of his extra points (12 of 12) after taking over for an ineffective Mike Nugent (who’d replaced an injured Stephen Gostkowski).
The 35-year-old re-signed with the Patriots one week into training camp to provide competition for the struggling Rohrwasser. Folk clearly outperformed his rookie competitor upon his return, with Rohrwasser going just 4-for-11 on field-goal tries over the team’s final two open practices.
Head coach Bill Belichick suggested Friday that the Patriots remain interested in working with Rohrwasser. The 23-year-old could land on New England’s practice squad if he passes unclaimed through waivers.
Rohrwasser was the first kicker selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. Three other rookies — Tyler Bass of the Bills (sixth round), Sam Sloman of the Los Angeles Rams (seventh round) and Rodrigo Blankenship of the Colts (undrafted) — won kicking competitions in training camp.
Thumbnail photo via New England Patriots