NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - Two days after Garrett Hartley missed a 29-yard field goal that would have lifted the Saints past the Atlanta Falcons in overtime, kicker John Carney is back.
Jack Mills, Carney's agent confirmed to the Associated Press that the veteran kicker would be signing a contract with the Saints. Terms were not released. Carney worked out for the Saints on Tuesday.
Actually this might be good news for Hartley. If you remember in 2009 Carney was the Saints kicker at the beginning of the season due to Hartley's four-game suspension.
When Hartley returned, the Saints carried both kickers on the roster for most of the season. Carney served as a mentor and helped Garrett improve on his kicking and he gave the young kicker confidence.
That's something he's presently lacking. In three games, Hartley has connected on 4 of 7 field goal attempts. His confidence took a beating after he missed the 29-yard field goal in overtime. The two missed field goals against Minnesota in game one didn't help.
Saints head coach Sean Payton usually makes a quick move if he's not satisfied with a kickers overall performance and you can bet he's not happy with Hartley at the moment. He also realizes Hartley is a young man with a strong leg, a young man who needs a mental lift.
Maybe the signing of Carney will push Hartley to regain that confidence, knowing that John will be there to help in any way possible. Of course, if Hartley doesn't get back to his Super Bowl kicking form when he delivered 3 field goals over 40-yards to help the Saints beat the Colts in Miami, Payton knows Carney has the ability to kick the mid-range field goals, especially when the game is on the line.
Hartley is on a short leash and unless Garrett is able to step up and clear the next hurdle, the young man who was on top of the world following a game winning overtime field goal that beat Minnesota in the NFC Championship and the young man who kicked those 3 Super Bowl field goal...could find himself out of a job.
The Saints have not announced which player will be waived to open a roster slot for Carney. Hartley is hoping he's not the one who will be released.