Kicker Michael Barnard had an impressive tryout with the Eagles last May
According to Bob McGinn, the Packers will try out kicker Michael Barnard on Monday. The 27-year-old graduated from Division III Fairleigh Dickinson in 2008, but he hasn’t been able to land a job with an NFL team.
For the first time in years, GM Ted Thompson appears willing to bring a second kicker to camp. That makes sense considering incumbent Mason Crosby is coming off a historically bad season. The six-year veteran from Colorado made only 21 of 33 field goals. His percentage of 63.6 was the worst in the league.
Barnard didn’t put up impressive numbers in college (16 of 27), but he’s been toiling at his craft for the past five years. And if his tryout last spring with the Eagles is any indication, all that hard work has paid off. According to Full Scale Sports, Barnard made 30 of 32 field goals on May 12, including two in a row from over 60 yards. Despite his excellent performance, Barnard wasn’t offered a contract. That came as no surprise since Philadelphia already has one of the best young kickers in the league in Alex Henery.
A native of New Jersey, Barnard has worked with a number of current and former NFL kickers since leaving college five years ago. That group includes Michael Husted, David Akers, Jay Feely and Phil Dawson.
“Michael has worked very hard over the last two years to position himself for the pros,” said Husted, who spent six full seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 90s. “He is kicking very well right now.”
While the odds are very much against him, it’s important to remember that 9 of the 10 most accurate kickers in NFL history were cut at least once before finding success. So this is the one position where a 27-year-old rookie from Fairleigh Dickinson has a chance. Here’s hoping Barnard makes the most of his opportunity.