Younghoe Koo landing spots
By: Caleb Holfoth
Younghoe Koo has bounced around the NFL in his young. This season Koo found a home with the Atlanta Falcons. Koo had an incredible year and now is an unrestricted free agent. Koo enters free agency as the top available kicker. Koo’s career started very slow; he was drafted then cut by the Chargers in 2017. It took a trip to the AAF with the Atlanta Legends for him to make it back into the NFL. Is
- 2020 Stats: 37-39 FG’s (94.9%) 33-36 XP (91.7%) 1-2 Onside Kicks (50%)
Younghoe Koo has a big leg, he went 16-17 on field goals over 40 yards for Atlanta this season. Koo was a weapon for the Falcons and is still young at 26 years old. Koo is likely looking for a long-term deal similar to what Jason Sanders just received from the Dolphins. While Sanders does have one more full year of experience Koo has had a comparable career to Sanders. Sanders just signed a five-year $22 Million deal that has $10 Million in guarantees. Koo will seek a similar deal with likely just as much money. Koo had an elite year and is a top kicker in the NFL even tying Jason Sanders and Daniel Carlson for the most points scored in the NFL.
Contract Projection: 4 years $17.5 Million ($4.375 per year) $6 Million Guaranteed
Here are five teams that could be suitors for the Pro-Bowl Kicker.
New York JetsCap space: $75 Million
The New York Jets are in the beginning stage of a rebuild. With a new coach and a possible new quarterback. A new kicker may be a part of that as well. The Jets did have Sam Ficken who showed promise in his 9 games with the team. Regardless, the Jets should go after Younghoe Koo. Koo would be a big help for a team in the rebuilding stage. The Jets have the assets to have a quick rebuild through either the draft or trade. With a potential quick rebuild, the Jets do not want to leave behind the special team’s unit. Younghoe Koo would give them the ability to not leave many points on the board as they did so often when Sam Darnold was the quarterback. Koo would give new coach Robert Saleh early confidence in his kicking game and special teams unit.
- Arizona Cardinals
Cap Space: $19 Million
The Arizona Cardinals had one of the NFL’s most potent offenses in 2020. With Kyler Murray, Kenyan Drake, and DeAndre Hopkins Arizona can score at an elite level. The Cardinals had a rough season with Zane Gonzalez at the kicker position. Gonzalez only made 72% of his field goals and missed five field goals that were in between 40-49 yards. Younghoe Koo would give the Cardinals consistency and a big leg. Koo can be extremely accurate inside of 50 yards while also making big kicks in the 50s. A good kicker will not bring the Cardinals to a championship level but what it will do is make the already potent Cardinals offense even stronger.
- Washington Football Team
Cap Space: $41 Million
The Washington Football Team had the 2nd best Defense in the NFL. Their offense was on the other end of the spectrum finishing 30th in yards. Dustin Hopkins kicked for them in 2020 and he missed six field goals inside of 49 yards and ended up with an FG% of only 80%. Hopkins also missed field goals in multiple games where the Football Team ended up losing by three or fewer. Hopkins did go perfect against Tampa Bay in the wild card round. Despite that, I would not be surprised to see the Washington Football Team upgrade at kicker. Younghoe Koo would give Washington a better option to pair with a weaker offense. With the style of football Washington plays it cannot afford to leave points on the board like it did in 2020.
- Cincinnati Bengals
Cap Space: $45 Million
The Cincinnati Bengals are a young team with tons of potential. Joe Burrow comes back after suffering a knee injury that kept him out the last six weeks of the NFL season. The Bengals have a young offense with a young offensive coach and an open spot at kicker. While the Bengals could resign Randy Bullock, but Bullock did miss two field goals under 39 yards this season and has had an inconsistent career. Younghoe Koo would be a far better option at Kicker for a young explosive offense that cannot afford to miss out on scoring opportunities. The Bengals also have the cap space to sign a kicker like Koo to a long-term deal and still have the space to make notable moves. One thing that could cause the Bengals to stay away from Koo is that he has kicked most of his career in nicer weather and the AFC North is one of the nastiest divisions in the NFL when it comes to weather for kickers.
- Los Angeles Chargers
Cap Space: $33 Million
The Los Angeles Chargers had a plethora of Special Teams issues under former head coach Anthony Lynn. Lynn’s game management woes were often a topic of conversation after Charger’s losses. With new Coach Brandon Staley, it would be surprising if the Chargers brought back 2020 kicker Michael Badgley. Badgley made only 72% of his field goals and also does not even handle kickoff duties for the team. Younghoe Koo would not only come in and boost the field goal game for the Chargers but also take the pressure of the Punter by handling kickoffs as well. Badgley has a solid leg but Koo has an outstanding one. With great offensive pieces in place, the Chargers seriously need to fix their special team woes which cost them several close games in 2020.