Falcons release struggling K Elam
He was right.
Elam was just 8 of 15 on field goal attempts from at least 30 yards, a success rate that was simply unacceptable – especially for a team contending in the
“To be honest with you, when I walked off the field after the last three games, I thought that was it,” Elam told The Associated Press when reached on his cell phone. “I’ve always been able to kick myself out of these things, but it just wasn’t happening for me. It was a bad November.”
It also was an unceremonious ending for a 39-year-old kicker who is tied for the longest field goal in NFL history (63 yards), made more than 81 percent of his career attempts, and earned three Pro Bowl appearances during a 15-season tenure with the Denver
Elam signed with the
But something went wrong this season, and it was apparent right from the start. Elam struggled in the preseason, missed an extra point in the regular-season opener and botched crucial kicks in losses to Carolina and the New York
“This is not my dream ending, but I feel like it was a pretty good dream career,” he said. “I never anticipated it lasting this long. I wish it was different circumstances that I was going out. But I gave them everything I’ve got. I can look myself in the mirror and feel good.”
“He hit some, but unfortunately he missed some others,”
“Matt came in and kicked very well at our indoor facility,” Dimitroff said. “He stroked it well, he had good pop and he showed some accuracy.”
Bryant has the third-longest field goal in NFL history, a 62-yarder in 2006, and he’s also endured personal tragedy: his 3-month-old son Matthew Tryson, died unexpectedly in 2008. One day after the funeral, Bryant returned to kicked three goals in Tampa Bay’s victory over the Green Bay
“You know he’s strong-willed, given what he’s gone through in his background,” Dimitroff said.
Elam wasn’t the only member of the field-goal unit to lose his job. Long snapper
While Elam said he’ll take a few days to decide on whether he wants to pursue a job with another team, he sure sounded as though he’s ready to call it a career.
“I just want to be remembered as a consistent kicker,” he said. “That’s what I prided myself on. It wasn’t the 63-yarder. I didn’t want to be known just for hitting the longest field goal.”