In 2016 the Giants kicking situation took an unexpected turn after the club found themselves scrambling to replace Josh Brown following his dismissal from the team mid-season.
The Giants were able to coax former Bears kicker Robbie Gould to step in to finish that season (with a brief cameo appearance by Randy Bullock sandwiched in there), but alas, after a somewhat successful stint, the Giants lost Gould to the 49ers.
New York, however, appeared to luck out in solving their long-term kicking issues when they signed free agent Aldrick Rosas to a deal.
After an initial shaky season, Rosas put together a Pro Bowl campaign in his second year as a Giant. Then in his third year, the wheels not only fell off, but he also ran into some off-season legal issues, which resulted in him and the team going their separate ways.
Enter Graham Gano, the long-time Carolina Panthers kicker and a guy with whom Giants general manager Dave Gettleman was familiar.
Gano, who was coming off a season-ending injury to his left (plant) leg, signed with the Giants on a one-year "show me" deal, and boy did he ever.
Gano converted 96.9% of his field-goal attempts, a career-best in 16 games played. And he also delivered a good amount of solid kickoffs, though his final numbers were ultimately affected by the inconsistencies from his coverage team.
When it was all said and done, Gano showed enough to earn a new contract extension that should alleviate any issues with the Giants' kicking game for as long as he stays healthy.
What He Brings
Whether it was nailing his field goal attempts, some of which were set up by shaky snaps (which holder Riley Dixon managed to corral) or delivering consistently solid mortar kickoffs, Gano delivered.
The oddest stat of the year? Gano missed more extra points (two) than field goals (one).
The Gano train, which also produced five field goals of 50+ yards, seemed to slow down slightly in the second half of the season after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Some of his mortar kicks fell short, and as did his touchbacks, but by the season's end, Gano delivered a huge fourth-quarter 50-yarder against the Cowboys that helped secure the win.
The Giants signed Gano to a three-year, $14 million contract extension toward the latter part of last season. The deal included a $3.25 million signing bonus and $9.5 million guaranteed.
Barring an injury or another round with COVID-19 that knocks him out for a large chunk of time, Gano will be the kicker for the Giants in 2021.
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