We dropped an O.G. Panther for this guy? Tsuh. Kasay may have diced our hearts, sold them to Bojangles, to be deep fried and sold back to us on February 2nd, 2004.... but he was an original Panther. Kasay was a Panther from the inaugural season who continues to play at a high level... for our division rival.
Simple and plain: I'm not sure Olindo justified Kasay's release.
Is Olindo Mare a great kickoff Kicker? Absolutely, he led the league in touchbacks with 53. But when it comes to field goals he's just not Kasay, and it showed in 2011.
Olindo Mare 2011 Field Goal Stats from NFL.com:
We'll compare them to Kasay's after the jump.
John Kasay 2011 Field Goal Stats from NFL.com:
Kasay made 6 more field goals with 6 more attempts and they both missed 6 field goals. It's worth noting that Mare was blocked twice, where as Kasay did not have a field goal blocked in 2011. Other than that there is no big difference, except for where those misses were from. In 2011 Kasay tied for first in the league for kicks between 30 - 39 yards, he was 10 for 10. All of Kasay's misses came from greater than 40 yards, three of those over 50.
Mare on the other hand missed both of the field goals he attempted over 50 yards, but looked strong between 40 - 49 yards out going 8 for 9. However, Olindo missed three out of nine field goals between 30 - 39 yards. Those hurt, bad. Most notably, the field goal attempt posted below.
It's harsh I know, but it's still pretty funny. I'm sure that to some Panther fans, that might have sent them on another trip to Bojangles for their hearts. Although, we all know that Mare's miss was not the sole reason for the loss. It was a breakdown by the whole team. This doesn't let Mare off the hook though. After reviewing Olindo's situational stats on NFL.com, it became clear to me that he's not the kicker you want in the clutch.
In the first half of games, Mare had an 88.9 field goal percentage. In the second half of games it dropped to 60%. Four of his six misses came in the second half, three of those in the fourth quarter. Even worse he missed four field goals when we needed them most, when we were playing from behind. In contrast, Kasay was 9 for 9 this year when the Saints were playing from behind.
Not all was bad with Mare this year, as I mentioned before he led the league in touchbacks with 53. This number is partly due to the new NFL kickoff rules, but it helped, as there were no kickoff returns for touchdowns against the Panthers this year (Rhys Lloyd didn't have any returned last year either, although he had about half as many touchbacks as Mare did last year). Olindo also had an 88.9 field goal percentage for field goals between 40 - 49 yards in 2011.
At the end of the day, I'd rather have Kasay. I just think with the new NFL Kickoff rules, we could have made it work. What's worse to me is the insane contract we gave to Mare. The Panthers signed him at $12 million for four years, with $4 million guaranteed, including a $1.5 million signing bonus. Ridiculous. To put that into perspective, Cam is signed to a four year, $22.025 million contract. Sure Cam's contract is fully guaranteed, including a signing bonus of $14,518,544. As well as subsequent bonuses, starting at $1,376,159 in 2012 and increasing in increments of roughly a million a year until he becomes a free agent in 2015. The Bottom line is; Cam, Carolina's 22 year old franchise Qb is making 22 million over four years, while this 38 year old journeyman kicker can make 12 million over the same span. It's true that this discrepancy is a result of the new cba, but it's still crazy to think about.
From Mare's Panther players page:
-Scored a team-leading 110 points
-Converted 44 of 45 extra point opportunities, the second-most successful PATs and PAT tries by an individual in team history
-Finished the season ranked 14th in NFL History with 350 field goals and 16th with 1,530 points scored
-Placed 75 of 84 kickoffs in the end zone
-Leads the NFL with 291 touchbacks since 1997
-Made one special teams tackle
-Had a streak of 212 consecutive extra points snapped when Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson blocked the attempt following a Panther's touchdown in the first quarter (last missed a PAT at Dallas in 2003).
There is only one thing to say about Olindo Mare. In a fanshot by Jaxon a few months back, MrBernz said:
"When the ball doesn't go through and the fans begin to boo, that's O. Mare."
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