The Seattle Seahawks, with whom kicker Stephen Hauschka spent six of his last nine NFL seasons, decided they didn't want to keep him. They found what they believed was a better, and certainly cheaper, alternative in Blair Walsh, who had been released by the Minnesota Vikings.
Hauschka insists he's focused on having a bright future with his new team, the Buffalo Bills, yet it's impossible to simply dismiss the circumstances that made him available to replace Dan Carpenter, Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News
One of the toughest parts about Hauschka's Seattle divorce was being supplanted by a kicker whose career has the deep scar of a blown chip-shot field goal that cost the Vikings an upset victory against the Seahawks in a 2015 wild-card playoff game. After missing nine field-goal and eight extra-point attempts in the past two seasons, Walsh found himself out of a job in mid-November.
This was the guy who was going to take the place of the Seahawks' all-time leader in field goals (175) and their No. 2 all-time producer of points (759)? The guy who hit 27 of 28 of his field-goal tries in 14 career postseason games? Who kicked in two Super Bowls and won one? Who has a career field-goal percentage of 87.2 and a career extra-point percentage of 95.4?
"I thought it was interesting that direction that they would go in," Hauschka said. "But I'm not really concerned about that anymore because my job's just to go out there and kick and that really doesn't have anything to do with me now. But, yeah, it was definitely an interesting move."
Interesting. And less expensive. Hauschka made $2.7 million last season, and will get $2.6 million from the Bills this year from a $1.6 million base salary and $1 million signing bonus. Walsh is due to receive a base salary of $800,000 and a $300,000 roster bonus from the Seahawks.
"I just think that at the end of the day, football is a business and teams are going to do what they need to do to get victories," Hauschka said. "And if that means maybe saving a little money on that position, then so be it."Don't forget to follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/theredzoneorg
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