Dolphins release kicker Jay Feely
DAVIE, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins cut kicker Jay Feely today, one season after he set the team's single-season record for field-goal percentage.
Feely's release clears the way for undrafted rookie Dan Carpenter to take over as the starting kicker. Carpenter made field goals of 41 and 49 yards in Miami's 17-6 preseason loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday.
"The decision was based purely on numbers, on performance and Carpenter has outperformed him right now. That's the bottom line," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said after the team's morning practice. "We chart a ton of categories with the kickers and Carpenter has outperformed him."
Feely missed the preseason opener and practice last week because of a groin strain. He made 21 of 23 field goals last season, one of the few bright spots on the 1-15 Dolphins.
The 32-year-old Feely was one of the only players who willingly talked to the media during Miami's most embarrassing season in franchise history. And his outspoken nature often clashed with the new Bill Parcells-led regime, which has overhauled the roster with younger players.
Feely came to Miami from the New York Giants last season with the tough task of replacing Olindo Mare, who had been one of the league's most consistent kickers the previous 10 seasons for the Dolphins. Feely not only outperformed Mare, he was quickly voted as a team captain by players.
Feely has been limited in practice through the first two weeks of training camp, but Sparano said it was enough time to evaluate his kickers.
"A kicker's situation is different than a quarterback situation or any other situation," Sparano said. "You get very few at-bats."
Carpenter converted 75 of 103 field goals, and 182 of 188 extra points during his college career in Montana. He said he doesn't think he will have a problem adjusting to the warm weather in Miami. However, he was stunned to hear of Feely's release.
"Of course it was a shock," Carpenter said. "I'm a rookie coming in and Jay's a great kicker and he's got a lot of experience and I'm just here to do my best and hopefully that's the best."