3. Nick Folk Loses Starting Job
Nick Folk is one of the longest-serving players in the NFL, having played for four teams since the 2007 season. He’s been with the Patriots full-time since 2020, however, his tenure could be coming to an end.
Folk’s 2022 campaign was a mixed bag, to say the least. On one hand, his 91.4% extra-point percentage (32-of-35) was his best mark since 2019 and he even hit four field goals from 50-plus yards.
On the other hand, Folk missed five FGs en route to finishing with an 86.5% field-goal percentage (32-of-37). His play also declined as the season progressed, highlighted by his succeeding on just 81.3% of field-goal attempts in his final eight games compared to a 90.5% success rate in the first nine.
Folk’s future became even more unclear when the Patriots used a fourth-round pick to select ex-Maryland kicker Chad Ryland in April. Considering how Ryland is 15 years younger and on a cheaper deal, New England is going to give the rookie a serious look.
Speaking of contracts, the final nail in Folk’s coffin could be that the Patriots will only carry $585,000 in dead cap if they cut him, per Spotrac. Unless the veteran kicker has a preseason to remember, saving nearly $2 million in cap might be too enticing for New England to pass up.