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Packers want to add competition everywhere, including kicker, says LaFleur

Expect more than one place kicker to be on Green Bay’s roster in 2024. That’s a change to last year.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers have to walk a fine line at the kicker position right now. On one hand, it’s unacceptable that rookie kicker Anders Carlson missed a field goal or PAT in 10 of the Packers’ final 12 games of the 2023 season. On the other hand, you don’t want to ruin a young kicker’s confidence after a miss in a big spot.

The fact that a joke from head coach Matt LaFleur was taken out of context and broadcast to the world during the playoff game doesn’t help. Still, LaFleur knew he was going to be asked questions about the entire kicking situation, and the plan the team has for it going into 2024, in his end-of-season presser on Monday.

When asked if he wants to add competition to the position, LaFleur simply stated that he wants “competition at every position” and that place kicker wouldn’t be an exception. That’s nice if you don’t remember the 2023 offseason, but it would be a significant change for the team.

Despite having a 90-man roster (91 if you want to include international player pathways athlete Kenneth Odumegwu), Carlson was the sole kicker on the Packers’ roster for the majority of their post-draft offseason. Parker White, an undrafted kicker from the 2022 draft class who wasn’t signed to a team as a rookie, was Carlson’s only competition when the team turned in the pick for the sixth-rounder out of Auburn. White was released by the team on May 22nd, less than a month after the draft and a month before the Packers started minicamp.

In fact, White was released on the first day of organized team activities for Green Bay. To put this in the clearest way possible: The Packers cleared the roads for Carlson to receive developmental reps this summer. Now, it seems like he’ll be asked to split some time as the team hedges its bets at the position.

So where do the Packers look? They have little cap space available, so a veteran isn’t a great option. Does the team spend another draft pick on a kicker? Many believe that there’s not enough value in the position to spend a draft choice on a specialist. I can’t imagine how those people would react if the team did it in back-to-back seasons at the same position.

For whatever it’s worth, though, there are four kickers — according to the consensus draft board — who are ranked in the draftable range: Alabama’s Will Reichard, Stanford’s Joshua Karty, Missouri’s Harrison Mevis and Arkansas’ Cameron Little. Only Reichard appears to be a lock to be drafted in April, but it’s worth noting here that Little did enter the draft as an early declaration.

Maybe one of these kickers becomes the Packers’ new scoring leader of the future. Maybe Carlson, with a year of trial and error behind him, evens out as a sophomore. Either way, expect there to be a lot of eyes at the kicker position for Green Bay this year, starting with this offseason.