Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Panthers Cut Medlock

After missing his last three field goals, Carolina Panthers decided to part ways with former Tiger-Cat kicker Justin Medlock yesterday.

Medlock started the year going seven for seven after beating out incumbent Olindo Mare in training camp, but a sputtering Panthers offense rarely gave Medlock a chance to be a difference maker. Of his seven field goals, five came in one game against the Chicago Bears. Medlock's recent misses were the least of the Panthers' worries, but it is far easier to cut a first-year kicker making than it is to release expensive running backs and quarterbacks.

Now the inevitable questions will come up as to where he will kick next. One place we can rule out: Hamilton.

You will find no bigger fan of Medlock's than myself, but there is no way that he ends up back in Hamilton. Another CFL team, sure; maybe even another NFL team. But he won't be the Tiger-Cat kicker/punter in 2013.

The team moved on from Medlock last season by replacing him with Luca Congi and Josh Bartel. Congi had an all-time great season and Bartel was named the team's top rookie. Both filled Medlock's shoes extremely well and the team has no reason to replace either player. Both being non-imports helps as well. As much as I'd like to see Medlock back booting kicks for the Ti-Cats, we can put a pin in that right now. It ain't gonna happen.

So where Medlock ends up next is anyone's guess. But even if he doesn't land another NFL gig and does come back to the CFL, he won't be doing it as a Tiger-Cat.


  1. Honestly, I would take Medlock back in a heartbeat, even if that means cutting ties with Congi and Bartel.

    I think Medlock is better at each discipline than both Congi and Bartel.

    The question is, do you want your roster taken up by 1 American or 2 Canadians. I think with 1 American, it gives you more flexibility in your roster.

    1. There are positives and negatives to reacquiring Medlock. I just think with the way both Congi and Bartel played this season, the team will be in no rush to get rid of them. If both had been DeAngelis-level disappointing, then I could see the case fro bringing Medlock back. But Congi was brilliant this year and Bartel was just a rookie. I like Medlock a lot, I even liked him when he was with Toronto, but I just don't see him being brought back.

  2. The team will have to spend some money on upgrades. But kicking is not the place they need to spend it - defense above all first.

    I don't think the cap will allow it either. Having one kicker may provide more flexibility, but Medlock + another average roster player would probably cost much more than Congi + Bartel, without much of a difference in performance. Medlock was stronger than Congi on kickoffs and longer FGs but their average was nearly identical; Bartel was remarkably consistent, had a better punting average than Medlock and better placement in my opinion, and I think he's still got upside.

    I like him, but I bet Medlock gets a look elsewhere in the NFL first anyway. Carolina was looking for a shakeup for all the good it may do at 2-8, and all of Medlock's misses were from 40+ yards out.

  3. I don't see him being brought back as well.

    Congi was excellent this year. I hated him when he was with SSK and thought it was a bad move to sign him, but it has turned out to be a good signing.

    Bartel was a solid punter all year. Kids got a leg. Working with Ozzie will only improve average and direction.

    At the end of the day though, I think Medlock would be an upgrade and gives you more flexibility with the ratio in freeing up 2 Canadian spots.

  4. He has his foot in the door now in the NFL so he will have a lot of potential suitors as he really did nothing to deserve being replaced but as the Blog mentioned it was an easy change.
    There are still over a month of NFL football to be played so he still could land a job if an injury should occur.
    Saskatchewan would be a team that would show a lot of interest. With less than spectacular performances this past season and with the Riders hosting the Cup they will want the best possible kicker regardless of ratio classification. He is also a rare Import who can do both duties very well. If by chance he gets no NFL offers this or next seasons, which is unlikley, he would almost assured to have interest from the Riders.
    If he does head to an NFL training camp and not make a team he could always land a job after labor day sometime in the CFL. If I understand the contract rules he would be able to sign a one year deal now that he has already been through his mandatory rookie signing of at least two years.