Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Garrett Hartley has rejoined the Saints after coming off his four game suspension. Hartley joins John Carney as the second kicker on the roster, as the Saints have for the moment decided to carry both. Third string quarterback Chase Daniel has been released to make room on the roster for Hartley. Beyond keeping Hartley around for future seasons, it's pretty unclear what his role will be for the rest of the season. Carney has been accurate and reliable, and rookie punter Thomas Morstead has had the kickoff duties on lockdown since taking over. Interesting that the Saints decided not to part ways with Carney, yet decided to hang on to Hartley as well. Keeping two kickers on the roster, especially when one is inactive for games, is a very odd decision. It looks like the Saints didn't want to mortgage their future, nor did they want to change the good thing they have going with Carney. The good news is the Saints can absorb two kickers on their roster currently given the relative good health of the team, but down the road they may be forced to make a tough decision and release one of the two players if injuries become a factor. I can't imagine the Saints will keep 2 kickers on their roster indefinitely when one serves no purpose on gamedays. While Hartley could contribute on kickoffs, I'm sure the Saints see no reason to replace Morstead who has been extremely effective. My guess is Hartley will have to prove in the next couple weeks during practice that he's reliable, that way when the Saints' hand is forced to make a decision at some point Hartley will be under consideration as the full time kicker over Carney. There is no question Hartley has a much stronger leg at this point in his career, but he'll need to show he's as accurate as Carney inside 40 yard attempts too. Based on Hartley's performance in preseason that's not obvious. There's also the regret from the current regime for letting Carney go the first time, and the danger of paying for that same mistake again gives Carney a psychological advantage staying on the roster through the end of the year.
Posted by The Judge at 8:54 AM