Panthers putting Graham Gano on notice by bringing in kickers

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Graham Gano
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Graham Gano /

The Panthers brought in a few kickers on Tuesday.

They say the National Football League is a cutthroat business, and it appears Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano is starting to experience that. Look no further than the fact that the team is working out kickers. This may have seemed like a preposterous idea a month ago, but now as the Panthers try to claw their way back to respectability, they are putting Gano on watch.

Per a report from Adam Caplan, the Panthers worked out several kickers on Tuesday as Gano has suffered struggles over the past couple of weeks.  Chandler Catanzaro, Sam Ficken, Matt McCrane, and Caleb Sturgis all worked out for the team on Tuesday. Some of those names you may recognize in particular are Catanzaro and Sturgis.

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Catanzaro is currently a free agent. He began his career in 2014 with the Arizona Cardinals and stayed there for three seasons. After a stint with the New York Jets in 2017, he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2018 season. He has made 114-137 field goals in his career and 175-188 extra points.

Sturgis has spent time with the Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, and Los Angeles Chargers. He has made 120-150 field goals in his career and 149-159 extra points. If nothing else, the kickers the Panthers brought in have a lot of pedigree.

At the end of the day, do I think they will replace Gano? No, I really don’t. He has been money for the Carolina Panthers throughout the course of his career here and I think this is just a little rut that he is going through. More so, I think they did this to put him on notice and refocus him a bit. Maybe giving him competition will stop him from having the yips so to speak. A little competition has never hurt anybody. I truly believe that this is just a move to refocus him, and get him back on track. The Panthers cannot afford to have him keep missing field goals at this stage of the season, especially when that said season is on the line.

I could see the flip side of the argument here. The Carolina Panthers are in desperation mode right now. It seems as though nothing has been working as of late. If in fact Gano continues to struggle kicking, I could see an instance where he is replaced by one of the kickers mentioned above. I am not rooting for him to be replaced, I do not want him to fail. It is just that football is a “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” game and I could see them making drastic measures if need be.

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If I was Gano, I would be at attention. This would no doubt force me to maybe get out to practice a little earlier and kick a few extra field goals. His job is not in jeopardy right now, but he certainly has people who are breathing down his neck. That includes everyone from the Panthers organization to the kickers the team brought in. Again, I think he will figure it out, but he needs to make sure that he makes these next couple of kicks count.