The Seahawks first addition of the 2019 NFL free agency period also marks something of a reunion as Seattle is signing kicker Jason Myers to a four-year contract, with the hope he can finally stop what has been something of a merry-go-round at the position since the departure of Stephen Hauschka following the 2016 season.
A league source confirmed to The Seattle Times that Myers will sign with the Seahawks. The New York Daily News reported Myers will get a deal worth up to $15.5 million with $7 million guaranteed.
An average salary of $4 million per year would make him one of the 10 highest-paid kickers in the NFL.
Myers was with the Seahawks throughout the 2018 offseason and the first two games of the preseason before being waived when the team decided instead to keep Sebastian Janikowski.
Myers then was signed by the Jets, with whom he made the AFC Pro Bowl team after hitting on 33 of 36 field goals, including 6 of 7 from 50 yards or beyond.
Seattle has also signed Sam Ficken, but general manager John Schneider said at the NFL combine last month that the Seahawks would sign another kicker.
Myers was signed by Seattle a few days after the end of the 2017 season as a possible replacement for Blair Walsh — he had been waived by Jacksonville six games into the 2017 season after making 11 of 15 field goals but also having a couple of critical misses.
Seattle then signed Janikowski in April when he was not retained by the Raiders. Myers made both of his field goal attempts in the preseason while Janikowski was 3-3, and Seattle decided two games into the preseason to keep Janikowski, who was then 40 and ranked 10th in NFL history in field goals made. That Janikowski had a $600,000 signing bonus as part of a $2.05 million deal also likely factored into the decision — Myers had a non-guaranteed minimum deal of $705,000 last year.
Myers, who turns 28 on May 12, is a native of Chula Vista, Calf., and attended Marist College, will now get more than four times that to return to the Seahawks.
The length and amount of his deal indicate the Seahawks view him as a hoped-for long-term answer at the kicking spot, which has been an issue since Seattle decided not to re-sign Hauschka as a free agent following the 2016 season when Hauschka instead signed a three-year deal worth $9.15 million with Buffalo.
Walsh served as the kicker in 2017 but had critical misses in three games the Seahawks lost, any one of which could have made the difference in a 9-7 team instead making the playoffs.
Seattle hoped Janikowski could at least give them some consistency, and he did hit three final-play winners as the Seahawks went 10-6. But he was also injured twice in the final month of the season and had a couple of key misses of his own while hitting 22 of 27 for the season. With Janikowski now 41 years old, it hadn’t been expected he would be back.
Myers’ addition would seem to solidify Seattle’s kicking battery for the 2019 season with punter Michael Dickson returning and also serving as the holder, and snapper Tyler Ott having been tendered this week as an exclusive rights free agent.