We have all heard the term “when the chickens come home to roost,” but what about a Falcon? It was reported on Tuesday that the Atlanta Falcons have informed Matt Bryant that they will not be retaining his services for the 2019 season. At 44 years young, Bryant was one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL last season, making 95.2% of his field goals. He was 20 of 21, making 4 of 5 from 50 yards or more and 35 of 37 on extra points. If those numbers make Buccaneer fans dizzy, welcome back to 2009.
After finishing the 2008 season with the Buccaneers, going 32 of 38 with three (3) game-winning kicks, Bryant was waived in the 2009 preseason when the team decided to go with Mike Nugent for the 2009 campaign. In week 7 of the 2006 season, Bryant kicked a 62-yard field goal as time expired to seal a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, 23-21. Tampa mayor Pam Iorio declared Monday, October 23 “Matt Bryant Day.” The 62-yard field goal was the second longest in NFL history at the time, behind the 63-yard field goals by legendary Saints kicker Tom Dempsey and Jason Elam, the kicker Bryant eventually replaced when signed by the Falcons in 2009.
Many Buccaneer fans believe the team has suffered such disastrous kicking inefficiency for the last many years because of a Matt Bryant curse. Today, many of those Buccaneer fans believe bringing Bryant back to Tampa could right a wrong and reverse the curse at the same time.
On her twitter feed, Bryant’s wife Melissa G. Bryant stated, “You know, I’ve seen a thing or 2 in my years and one thing is certain. Matt Bryant is as consistent as they come, and when he is not wearing your jersey. He is coming for you with a vengeance. He enjoys nothing more than to prove people wrong. It’s truly his passion.”
It definitely sounds like it is time to put the place kicker back into pewter and red and start building some NFC South drama for the upcoming football season. This bird might have been allowed to fly the coop, but it feels like it’s time to bring him back into the flock.