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Saints Release Kicker Shayne Graham

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In a surprisingly swift move, the Saints have released the veteran kicker.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints have released staring kicker, Shayne Graham, according to Larry Holder:

Graham has started at kicker for the Saints since late in the 2013 season and most memorably hit the game-winning field goal against the Philadelphia Eagles to give the Saints their first ever road playoff victory, in their January 2014 Wild Card game.  Graham has been solid in his time in New Orleans, but unspectacular.

In 2014, Graham went 19 for 22 in FG attempts and was 4 of 7 on attempts of 40+ yards out, with his longest FG at 50 yards.  He was also 46 of 47 on PAT attempts last season.  The kicking spot now opens up to two young kickers who will attempt to fill the role.  The first is Dustin Hopkins, a 2nd year kicker who was a 6th round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2013.  The second is Zach Hocker, who was a 7th round pick of the Washington Redskins in 2014.

It's very possible that one of these two will earn the starting kicker role, but it's just as likely that the Saints pick up another kicker on the market in the coming months.  Time will tell.  To fill Graham's roster spot, the Saints have signed journeyman practice squad receiver, Lance Lewis, who has played in Washington, Dallas, and San Francisco.