The 2019 season could not get any more melancholy. Less than an hour ago, The Falcoholic’s Evan Birchfield reported that the team has parted ways with their veteran kicker Matt Bryant. This comes after Bryant missed two field goals last Sunday in the Falcons 27-20 loss to the Seahawks, marking it their seventh straight defeat of this now lost season.
Bryant, who has kicked with the Falcons since 2009, was cut before the year to save money following a 2018 in which he missed three games with a hamstring injury. In his place, Giorgio Taveccio struggled so mightily that the Falcons ended up calling Bryant back up to return before the season, but the reunion has gone south quick.
The all-time scoring leader in Falcons’ franchise history missed five of his fourteen field goal attempts – a career-low 64.3%. He also missed an extra point that would have sent the game against the Cardinals to overtime. This was not the same Money Matt we grew accustomed to, but I am a little surprised they did not allow him to finish out the year.
At this point, the Falcons are already eliminated from the playoffs and are littered with far worse problems than their aging kicker. Given the uninspiring options on the market, I would have thought the organization would give him a chance to turn things around and retire with some dignity. After all, Bryant provided the Falcons faithful with a countless number of moments that will never be forgotten. The organization must have felt it necessary to start looking at solutions for the kicking job in 2020.
Regardless, it’s officially the end of an era. Money Matt will always have a special place in the heart of this city.
Following Bryant’s release, the Falcons announced they signed former Georgia Southern standout Younhoe Koo. He made 95% of his kicks in his senior year, but that was back in 2016. In 2017, Koo won the job kicking for the Chargers but was quickly cut after missing three of his first six field goals in the first four games. He most recently spent time with the Atlanta Legends.