Derek Dimke offers Competition for Shayne Graham

J. Meric

While trying to finagle cap room with key cuts, the New Orleans Saints have also been signing players to contracts. At least two kickers are already under contract, and will be competing for the place kicker position in 2014.

Kicker Shayne Graham signed a deal with the Saints on Friday. But he's not guaranteed the job, by any means.

Derek Dimke, the most accurate placekicker in University of Illinois history, signed a reserve/future contract with the New Orleans Saints even before the team went to Philadelphia for the wild-card playoff game in January. He is scheduled to report to the team in March.

The Saints brought in Dimke, Graham, and Neil Rackers for a workout before they cut ties with the struggling Garrett Hartley this past season. While both Dimke and Graham went 11-for-12 on field-goal attempts during the head-to-head competition, New Orleans decided to go with the 12-year veteran who was 31-for-38 on his field goals for Houston last season.

Dimke successfully made 39 of 46 field goal attempts (84.8%) in college, and has signed three NFL contracts -- and has battled in two different training camps -- since graduating in 2012. But little came of his stints with the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While he kicked in preseason games with each team, Dimke has yet to get his shot in a regular-season game.

But the second-year undrafted free agent is already set to report to Airline Highway in March, and will undoubtedly be competing this summer with Graham and others, possibly including Hartley, for the opportunity to take the field in black and gold come September.

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