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Packers putting pressure on kicker

Green Bay Packers Place Kicker Anders Carlson has been working in the offseason to keep his role on the team for the upcoming season, despite the team bringing in experienced kickers to foster internal competition. Tori Wittenbrock photo

By Tori Wittenbrock

Associate Sports Editor

GREEN BAY – After going 27-33 (81.8%) on field goals and 34-39 on extra points in the 2023-24 regular season, the Green Bay Packers announced that they intended to stick with placekicker Anders Carlson going forward, but would bring another level of competition into the program.

“We were committed to going through the ups and downs that a lot of young rookies go through,” said Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst in a February 2024 press conference.

“He was the best option by far and we’re really excited about where he is going.”

After the departure of Mason Crosby as the all-time leading scorer for the team, the Packers utilized a sixth round Draft pick to pick up Carlson after the conclusion of his fifth season as the starting placekicker for Auburn University where he was second in Auburn career field goals made with 79, second in career scoring with 410 points and third in career PAT made with 173.

Carlson followed his older brother Daniel to the NFL. Daniel was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft before winding up on his current team, the Las Vegas Raiders where he has seen a lot of success in recent years.

Despite the Packers belief in Carlson’s potential, the franchise signed kicker Jack Podlesny on Jan. 24 of this year, just four days after Carlson missed a crucial 41-yard field goal in their 24-21 NFC Divisional playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Podlesny served as the starting placekicker for the Georgia Bulldogs where he went 82.4% on field goal attempts.

He was picked up by the Minnesota Vikings in May of 2023 but was released before the start of the season.

However, on Wednesday, June 19, the Packers announced that they had released Podlesny from their roster.

This decision circulated speculation that the role would go to Carlson for the upcoming season and left fans to trust the process led by the Packers front office.

Carlson and Greg Joseph were the only remaining kickers on the roster.

However, on Monday, June 24, the Packers claimed placekicker James Turner from the Detroit Lions.

Turner was signed by the Lions in May of 2024 after completing three seasons at the University of Louisville and one at the University of Michigan.

Turner wrapped up his college career by going 65-80 (81.3%) for field goals made, and 189-193 (97.9%) for extra points made.

That being said, the job is not yet filled and the competition for one of the most crucial positions on the team remains fierce as the Packers look to go even further into the postseason in the 2024-25 season with a team filled with significantly fewer rookies and a more experienced Jordan Love at quarterback.

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