Redskins Go with Unknown to Replace Cundiff

by Grant Paulsen

The revolving door that is the Redskins’ field goal kicking situation took another spin on Tuesday afternoon, when Washington signed former UCLA standout Kai Forbath according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.

The team also released veteran kicker Billy Cundiff, who’s stay in Washington lasted just five games. Cundiff had connected on just 58 percent of his field goal attempts so far this season, the lowest ratio in the league.

Forbath, 25, has never kicked in a regular season NFL game. He did, however, make all five of his field goal attempts in the preseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this summer, including a boot that was good from 55-yards. He was inked by Washington after reportedly trying out in the same workout as veteran place-kicers Olindo Mare and Josh Brown.

The California-native was considered one of the top kickers in the nation in 2011, but was injured while attempting to make the Dallas Cowboys after going undrafted. The 2009 Lou Groza winner (an award given to the best college kicker in the country), made 10 of the 13 field goals he attempted from beyond 50 yards at UCLA.

The Redskins were in the market for a kicker after Billy Cundiff, signed at the end of the preseason, missed a 31-yard chip shot on Sunday afternoon against the Falcons. Cundiff also missed three kicks one week earlier in Tampa Bay, and five of his last eight overall. No other kicker has missed five field goals this season, and only one team had seen four attempts fail to net any points.

Cundiff is known as one of the best kickoff specialists in the NFL. He drove 18 of his 28 kickoff attempts out of the back of the endzone for a touchback while with the Redskins. But having a higher percentage of touchbacks than field goals made wasn’t a sustainable model of special teams success for Washington.

In Forbath the Redskins have added a neophyte who will need to be given time to work through growing pains.

When the rookie makes his debut at FedEx Field on Sunday, he’ll become the 19th kicker the Redskins have used since 1994.

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