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Free Agent Spotlight: What's next for Rams and Brett Maher?

It was an interesting season for Rams kicker Brett Maher.

He had that job for the first seven games of 2023, only to be cut after missing his lone extra point attempt and two of his three field goal attempts against the Steelers in Week 7. But when his replacement Lucas Havrisik missed 2 of 4 extra point attempts and both field goal attempts in the Rams' narrow playoff-clinching victory over the Giants in Week 17, Los Angeles turned back to Maher for the remainder of the season.

Though Maher made 1 of 2 extra point attempts against the 49ers in Week 18, he bounced back in the Rams' wild-card playoff game against the Lions by making both of his extra point attempts and all three of his field goal attempts.

Now, Maher is a pending unrestricted free agent with his contract set to expire at the start of the new league year on March 13.

Across his eight games in two stints with the Rams, Maher made 13 of 15 extra point attempts and 17 of 23 field goal attempts – 15 of 17 on extra points and 20 of 26 on field goals counting the playoff game. Of those six unsuccessful regular season attempts, five were missed and one was blocked. Four of his misses came from 50 or more yards; two from 40-49 yards.

When Los Angeles re-signed him, head coach Sean McVay said they asked him to attempt a lot of long field goals with some of the earlier situations he was in during his first stint with the team, and noted his consistency from under 50 yards. Maher was 14 of 16 from that range in 2023, and benefitted from a healthier Rams offense putting him in a position where he didn't have to kick from those longer distances – all three of his field goal attempts against the Lions were from less than 30 yards. Would those two factors lead the Rams to maintain continuity at kicker and bring Maher back?

If the Rams and Maher go in different directions, the Rams have used a variety of paths to find a new kicker in the past. Matt Gay was a recommendation on behalf of then-punter Johnny Hekker and signed off of the Colts' practice squad. Longtime kicker Greg Zuerlein (2012-19) was a sixth-round draft pick in 2012.

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