New York Giants Kicking Options Following Josh Brown's Suspension
Vincent Carchietta, USATSI

New York Giants’ kicker Josh Brown will serve a one game suspension in 2016. Who will fill in for Big Blue during the Pro Bowler’s absence?

The New York Giants’ 2015 Pro Bowl kicker Josh Brown will serve a one game suspension next season. The ban stems from a domestic violence arrest which occurred in 2015.

Here are some places the Giants’ may turn to for a quick replacement during Brown’s absence.

Tom Obarski

New York’s current backup is probably the most likely to handle kicking duties come the season opener. Obarski hopes to follow in the footsteps of former Giants’ backup kickers Brandon McManus and Chris Boswell, both of whom had strong training camps which lead to starting jobs elsewhere.

The 23-year old was with the Cincinnati Bengals during last year’s preseason. During that time he went three of four from 20-29 yards, one of two from 30-39 yards, and one of one from 40-49 yards. Obarski was eventually cut by the Bengals before the start of the regular season, but he showed enough to earn a reserve/futures contract with the Giants.

Obarski holds the record for the five longest field goals in Concordia College history, drilling from 51, 52, 56, 56 and 59 yards during his college career. Despite the impressive records, he was never the model of consistency during his collegiate tenure. He made just 43.8% of his field goals during his junior year, missing all seven of his attempts from 40-49 yards.

Obarski finished his time at Concordia with a strong senior campaign. He made 85.7% of his attempts, going eight of nine from 40-49 yards that year.

The biggest scouting knock on Obarski has been his lack of consistency on kickoff attempts. He doesn’t have the big leg needed to generate touchbacks against NFL caliber return men. Obarski did though have one impressive kickoff already for the Giants this offseason. He booted a 56 yarder which was only returned eight yards against the Miami Dolphins during the Giants’ preseason opener.

Shayne Graham

A Pro Bowler in 2005, Shayne Graham is the definition of an NFL journeyman. Graham has played for 17 out of the league’s 32 clubs, changing teams 18 times (Graham had two separate stints with the New Orleans Siants) during his career.

New York actually has some experience with Graham in this kind of situation. In 2010, the Giants signed him to fill in for an injured Lawrence Tynes. He played just one game for the team that season before being released two days later. He attempted no field goals but made all four of his extra point attempts during his one game stint with Big Blue.

The 38-year old was a member of the Atlanta Falcons last season, playing in five games as a replacement for the injured Matt Bryant. As a Falcon, Graham made 11 of his 13 field goal attempts with a long of 54 yards. He also knocked down all eight of his extra point attempts.

Graham has had plenty of background filling in for teams as a replacement kicker during his NFL career. He’s knocked down 85.5% field goals over 13 seasons in the league, and could serve as a reliable fill in.

Randy Bullock

After a surprising release from the Houston Texans last season before being picked up by the New York Jets, Randy Bullock had an up and down year to say the least in 2015.

In a head scratching move, the Texans released Bullock in favor of Nick Novak, despite a relatively good start to the season. Through three games in 2015 he was four of five on field goal attempts and had 10 touchbacks on 13 kickoffs. Bullock did have some issues with the newly elongated extra point at the season’s start. He made just three of five attempts during his 2015 tenure with Houston.

Bullock got his extra point problems under control upon arriving in New York to replace an injured Nick Folk. He went 19 of 20 on extra points, while going 14 of 17 on field goal attempts. His three misses with the Jets all came from 40-plus yards out.

Maybe Bullock could be tempted to stick around in New York for a couple of weeks longer. A strong showing with the Giants could help the fourth year veteran land a job elsewhere once Brown returns.

Josh Scobee

It’s been a rough couple years for Josh Scobee. The longtime Jacksonville Jaguars kicker signed on with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015 after injuries to both Shaun Suisham and Garrett Hartley.

Though a good move on paper for the Steelers, it didn’t exactly turn out as hoped. Scobee played four games in Pittsburgh where he went six of ten on field goal attempts and six of seven on extra points. A small silver lining, he did put up a respectable 12 touchbacks on 20 kickoffs during his short Steelers tenure.

The Saints signed him on March 4th of 2016, but then subsequently released him just over a month later on May 17th.

Scobee could be eager for one last chance at redemption with the Giants. He’s only 34 years old and just two seasons removed from kicking 92% on field goals.

Bottom Line

It makes a lot of sense for the Giants to roll with Obarski into the regular season. They already have him under contract, so they don’t have to sell the prospect of a one game rental to an established veteran leg. Plus, the young Obarski wouldn’t likely have any qualms about getting some action in a regular season contest on his resume, despite however brief it may be.

It would also cost more money to sign a veteran free agent. The Giants would  have to guarantee him a full year’s salary if they sign him before week one. This should be Obarski’s big NFL break.

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