K Carney returning to Saints
Veteran kicker John Carney is returning to the New Orleans Saints.
Carney’s agent, Jack Mills, confirmed in an e-mail Tuesday to The Associated Press that his client would be signing with his former team. Terms of the contract weren’t released.
Carney, who is 46, worked out for the Saints Tuesday after starting kicker Garrett Hartley missed a 29-yard field goal in overtime Sunday that would have given the Saints a 27-24 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
A person familiar with the Saints’ plans says Hartley also will remain with the club. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Saints hadn’t announced who would be released to create a spot for Carney.
Hartley is 4-for-7 this season on field goal attempts, but has a strong leg and was a playoff hero during the Saints’ 2009 championship run. He hit the overtime field goal in the NFC title game victory over Minnesota that sent the franchise to its first Super Bowl, then set a Super Bowl record with three field goals of at least 40 yards against the Indianapolis Colts. This season, he also made a partially blocked 37-yard, game-winning field goal at the end of regulation of New Orleans’ Week 2 triumph at San Francisco.
Carney was the Saints’ kicking consultant when they won the title, a job the 22-year NFL veteran moved into after spending most of the 2009 regular season on the active roster.
The Saints brought Carney in last season because of Garrett Hartley’s four-game suspension that stemmed from his positive test for the banned stimulant Adderall. Carney remained an active player for 11 games, hitting 13 of 17 field goals, with a long of 46 yards.
He made his first NFL field goal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1988.
Carney kicked in college for Notre Dame from 1984-86 and failed to make the Cincinnati Bengals’ regular-season roster in 1987, but finally appeared in a game the following season.
He became San Diego’s regular kicker in 1990 and spent 11 seasons with the Chargers, followed by six with the Saints, parts of one season with Jacksonville and Kansas City, one season with the New York Giants, and then last season again with New Orleans.
Carney has made 473 field goals in his career. He still has a ways to go to match Morten Andersen, who kicked until he was 47, making 565 field goals during 25 seasons. Andersen’s last season was 2007.