Miami Dolphins: Are the 'Fins Done with Dan Carpenter?

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst IDecember 6, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 30:  Kicker Dan Carpenter #5 of the Miami Dolphins reacts after missing a 51 yard field goal against the Arizona Cardinals during the third quarter of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Dolphins 24-21 in overtime.(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As evidenced by the New York Jets and their unfortunate propensity of hitting the uprights, a solid kicker is a very crucial element to an NFL team.

Although the Dolphins have had relatively few problems with kicker Dan Carpenter, this season has been particularly different.

In 2010 when he hit a massive 60-yard field goal, it was clear that he had one of the most powerful legs in all of the NFL. Last season, he hit a 58-yarder and continued to consistently put the ball through the uprights.

Considering Miami's unfortunate plethora of overtime losses this season, those precious three points become all the more valuable. And frankly, Carpenter has not been in great form this year.

At this point in the season, Carpenter has gone 17-for-22 with a 77.3 percent completion rate. However, he only has a long of 46 and has been eight-for-10 on attempts between 40 and 50 yards. Once over 50 yards, Carpenter is currently zero-for-3.

Considering the kickers do not intend to go until the later rounds, it might be worth it for the Dolphins to set their eyes on adding another kicker to their roster to at least provide some sort of preseason competition for Carpenter.

Looking at the rise of a whole new era of kickers that highlights the powerful leg of Greg Zuerlein and Kai Forbath, it is clear that their are plenty of NFL-ready players in college just waiting for the opportunity to kick on a larger scale.

Kickers like Billy Cundiff, whose early season misses led to his disappearance and rise of Forbath, no longer cut it in the NFL.

If Carpenter continues to be ineffective from longer ranges, it is time to look towards the kicker of the future.