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Brett Maher (gridiron football)

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Brett Maher
refer to caption
Maher with the Cowboys in 2018
Personal information
Born: (1989-11-21) November 21, 1989 (age 34)
Fremont, Nebraska, U.S.
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school:Kearney
(Kearney, Nebraska)
College:Nebraska (2008–2012)
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Field goals made:111
Field goals attempted:139
Field goal percentage:79.9%
Longest field goal:63
Extra points made:141
Extra points attempted:149
Extra point percentage:94.6%
Points scored:474
Career CFL statistics
Field goals made:82
Field goals attempted:100
Punting yards:9,645
Points scored:303
Player stats at PFR · CFL.ca

Brett Maher (/ˈmɑːhər/ MAH-hər;[1] born November 21, 1989) is an American professional football placekicker who is a free agent. He played college football for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Since turning professional in 2013, Maher has been a member of nine different National Football League (NFL) teams, and three Canadian Football League (CFL) teams.

Early life


Maher attended Centennial Public Schools in Utica, Nebraska for his first three years of high school before transferring to Kearney High School, where he played high school football for the Bearcats.[2]

As a senior, Maher made 8-of-14 field goals, 41 of 46 extra points, and averaged 41.1 yards per punt. He also played wide receiver, posting 775 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Maher received All-state honors from the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World-Herald at the end of the season.

In basketball, Maher was an honorable-mention Class A all-state pick as a senior. In track, he won the long jump and pole vault state championships as a senior, setting a state record in the latter. Maher has pole vaulted 4.93 m (16 ft 2 in).[3]

College career


Maher turned down other football scholarship offers to walk-on at the University of Nebraska.[4] As a redshirt freshman and as a sophomore, he appeared in all games as the holder for field goals and extra points, while also serving as the backup punter behind Alex Henery.

As a junior, Maher was named the starter at placekicker and punter after Henery graduated. Maher made 19-of-23 field goals, 43-of-44 extra points and averaged 44.5 yards per punt (sixth in school history). He received Big Ten Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors three times, while being named Eddleman-Fields Big Ten Punter of the Year and Bakken-Andersen Big Ten Kicker of the Year.[5] Maher became one of the few specialists in Big Ten history to be named All-Conference both at kicker and punter in the same season.

As a senior, the school awarded Maher with a football scholarship. He made 20-of-27 field goals, all of his 59 extra point attempts, 57 touchbacks out of 96 kickoffs, and averaged 41.8 yards per punt. Maher's 20 field goals ranked second in school history for a season, and his 119 points set a record for most points scored by a kicker. Maher ranked third overall in conference in scoring and first among kickers. He received the Bakken-Andersen Big Ten Kicker-of-the-Year Award for the second straight year.[6]

Maher finished his collegiate career with 39-of-50 made field goals (78%), 219 points, 120 punts for a 43.2-yard average and 43 punts inside the 20-yard line.

College statistics

Nebraska Cornhuskers
Season GP Kicking Punting
XPM XPA XP% FGM FGA FG% Pts Punts Yds Avg
2011 13 43 44 97.7 19 23 82.6 100 59 2,626 44.5
2012 14 59 59 100.0 20 27 74.1 119 61 2,552 41.8
Career 27 102 103 99.0 39 50 78.0 219 120 5,178 43.2

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span
6 ft 0 in
(1.83 m)
186 lb
(84 kg)
31+58 in
(0.80 m)
9+18 in
(0.23 m)
All values from NFL Combine[7][8]

New York Jets (first stint)


Maher was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Jets after the 2013 NFL Draft on May 12, 2013, earning the contract following a rookie minicamp tryout.[9] He was waived on July 23, to make room for placekicker Billy Cundiff.[10]

Dallas Cowboys (first stint)


On August 11, 2013, Maher was signed by the Dallas Cowboys, to play in the preseason while Dan Bailey recovered from an injury.[11] Maher was released two weeks later on August 27.[12]

Winnipeg Blue Bombers


On May 1, 2014, Maher signed a contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL).[13] He played in two preseason games for the Bombers before being released by the team due to the restrictions on the number of national and international players on the team's roster; the team kept their Canadian incumbent, Lirim Hajrullahu.[14]

Ottawa Redblacks (first stint)


A few weeks after being released by Winnipeg, Maher signed with the Ottawa Redblacks.[14] In Week 4 of the season, Maher was named the CFL's Special Teams Player of the Week after going 6-for-6 on field goals, scoring all the Redblacks' points in an 18–17 decision over the Toronto Argonauts. The victory marked the expansion club's first-ever win.[15] On May 13, 2015, Maher was released by the Redblacks because of a hip injury he suffered in the prior month, before the start of training camp.[16] Maher missed all but four games during the season due to the injury.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats


On May 19, 2016, Maher signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats after taking part in a team minicamp.[17] He completed 82% of his field goal attempts that season, going 41-for-50, and had a punt average of 45.9 yards.[18]

Cleveland Browns


On March 20, 2017, Maher signed with the Cleveland Browns.[19] On May 2, Maher was released after not being able to pass rookie Zane Gonzalez on the depth chart.[20]

Ottawa Redblacks (second stint)


On June 10, 2017, Maher signed with the Redblacks. He achieved the same completion percentage as the previous season in Hamilton (82%), recording the same number of field goals (41) on 50 attempts. Maher's punt average was 46.7 yards.[18]

Dallas Cowboys (second stint)


2018 season


On April 4, 2018, Maher signed with the Cowboys, to limit the off-season workload of Dan Bailey.[21] Maher was 4 out of 5 field goal attempts in preseason, which included two 45-yarders and a 57-yard field goal. On September 1, in a surprise move, the Cowboys released Bailey, making Maher the team's kicker to start the season.[22] Maher's NFL debut came in the season opener against the Carolina Panthers, where he missed his first career field goal attempt (47 yards). Maher would then go on to make fifteen straight field goal attempts.[citation needed]

In Week 4, Maher kicked all four field goals (32, 43, 22, and 38 yards), including a 38-yard game-winner as time expired, in a 26–24 comeback victory over the Detroit Lions, earning him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.[23] Two weeks later against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Maher converted four field goals, including a 55-yarder which at the time was his career long and the second-longest field goal in AT&T Stadium behind Dan Bailey's 56-yard field goal. From Week 7 to Week 11, Maher missed either a field goal or an extra point in four straight games.[citation needed]

On November 18, Maher kicked a 48-yard game-winning field goal to beat the Atlanta Falcons.[24] Three weeks later, he kicked a new career-long 62-yard field goal against the Philadelphia Eagles as time expired in the first half. The field goal also set a franchise record and tied for the third-longest in NFL history.[citation needed]

In Week 16, Maher converted two field goals (including the second longest in franchise history-59 yards) and three extra points in a 27–20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, earning him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.[25] Maher made 5-of-8 (63%) field goal attempts in the final 4 games (not including playoffs), missing a field goal in three of the last four games.[citation needed]

Maher finished with 29-of-36 field goals (80.6%), 32-of-33 extra points and 67.5% touchbacks of his kickoffs. Maher ranked eighth in the league with 29 field goals and tied for most field goals of at least 50 yards (6), which also tied a franchise record for a single season. He was 25th in field goal percentage and tied for 11th in the league in accuracy from 40 to 49 yards (7-of-11).[citation needed]

2019 season


In 2019, Maher struggled with his accuracy during the preseason, but the team showed confidence on his ability by not bringing another kicker to compete with him. On October 6, Maher made one out of three field goal attempts against the Green Bay Packers. However, in the next game against the Jets, he became the first kicker in NFL history to have two made field goals of 62 or more yards in a career.[26]

On October 20, Maher set a new career long and broke his own franchise record when he made a 63-yard field goal against the Philadelphia Eagles. Maher finished the game converting all four of his extra points and all three of his field goals, earning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.[27] Maher kept struggling during the season with accuracy issues, but the team was patient, waiting for him to play through it. On November 28, he missed two field goals (one deflected) in the 15–26 loss against the Buffalo Bills.

On December 5, Maher missed a 42-yard field goal in the 31–24 loss against the Chicago Bears, his 10th miss of the season. Although Maher converted a 31-yard attempt in the final two minutes to cut the lead to seven points, he also hit a kickoff out of bounds early in the fourth quarter, helping the Bears take over at their own 40-yard line. After the game he was quoted in the media as saying: "I felt like I hit every ball pretty well tonight. I'll put my head on the pillow tonight feeling good about what I did this week and moving forward".[28]

On December 9, with the team having lost three consecutive games and in jeopardy of missing the playoffs, Maher was released by the Cowboys due to accuracy concerns.[29] He finished the season converting just 20-of-30 field goals (67%), 7-of-13 (54%) on attempts between 30 and 49 yards (45 m)issing at least one attempt in 8 of 13 games and making all 36 extra points. Maher also set NFL career (3) and single-season (2) records for most field goals made of over 60 yards. He was replaced by Kai Forbath.[citation needed]

New York Jets (second stint)


On December 31, 2019, the Jets signed Maher to a reserve/futures contract and was waived on August 31, 2020.[30][31]

Washington Commanders


Maher signed with the practice squad of the Washington Commanders on September 10, 2020,[32] before being released on September 30, 2020.[33]

Houston Texans


On October 12, 2020, Maher was signed to the Houston Texans' practice squad.[34] He was released on December 14, 2020.[35]

Arizona Cardinals


On December 25, 2020, Maher was signed to the Arizona Cardinals' practice squad.[36] He signed a reserve/future contract on January 5, 2021.[37] On March 20, 2021, Maher was waived after the Cardinals signed placekicker Matt Prater.[38]

New Orleans Saints


On August 10, 2021, Maher signed with the New Orleans Saints.[39] He was waived/injured on August 17 and placed on injured reserve. He was waived on August 21, 2021. He was re-signed to the practice squad on November 16.[40] He was promoted to the active roster on November 19, 2021.[41] In Week 13 against his former team, the Cowboys, Maher was 1-for-2 on field goal attempts as the Saints lost 27–17. In Week 15 against the Buccaneers he was responsible for the only points in the game making all three of his field goal attempts in a 9–0 victory. He was waived again on February 22, 2022.[42]

Dallas Cowboys (third stint)


On August 9, 2022, the Cowboys signed Maher after releasing Jonathan Garibay to compete for the kicking position with Lirim Hajrullahu.[43] He was waived on August 30, 2022, and signed to the practice squad the next day.[44][45]

On September 17, 2022, the Cowboys promoted Maher from the practice squad. In the Cowboys' eventual win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Maher kicked a 54-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 50-yard field goal with three seconds left to seal the 20–17 upset win.[46] In the next game, he hit three field goals in a Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants. But before halftime, Maher just missed left of the uprights from 59 yards out, giving him a 3-for-4 performance.[47] The following week, Maher hit all four field goals (53, 45, 28, 29) against the Commanders, although he did have an extra point blocked, his fourth extra point miss of his career.[48]

On November 20, 2022, Maher converted all four field goals against the Minnesota Vikings, three of which were 50 yards or longer, including a 60-yard field goal that he had to make twice, because of a play review by the officiating crew. Maher became the first kicker in NFL history to convert four field goals from 60 or more yards. Maher finished the season 29-of-32 on field goal attempts and 9-for-11 on 50+ yard field goals. He also set the franchise record for most field goals made over 50 yards in a season.[citation needed]

On January 16, 2023, Maher missed four of five extra point attempts during the Cowboys' Wild Card Game against the Buccaneers, the most missed extra points in a game (regular season or playoffs) since extra points were first tracked in 1932.[49][50][51][52][53] On January 22, 2023, he made 2-of-2 field goal attempts and had his first extra point of the game blocked against the San Francisco 49ers.

Although he struggled in the postseason, Maher had one of the best kicking regular seasons in franchise history, by making 29-of-32 field goals (90.6%), with 2 misses coming from 59-yard attempts, and was nine of 11 (82%) from 50-plus yards. He made 50-of-53 extra points attempts, with two of them being blocked. Maher led the league with 78 touchback kickoffs. He also set Cowboys single-season kicking records with 137 points scored and nine field goals made of 50-plus yards. After the season, it was reported that Maher chose not to re-sign with the team.[54]

Denver Broncos


On July 25, 2023, Maher signed with the Denver Broncos.[55] Maher was released after the Broncos announced that they had traded for former Saints kicker Wil Lutz on August 29, 2023.[56]

Los Angeles Rams


On August 30, 2023, the Los Angeles Rams signed Maher to their practice squad.[57][58] Maher was elevated from the practice squad for the Rams opener against the Seattle Seahawks where he went 3-for-5 on field goals and was reverted to the practice squad after the game.[59] He was promoted to the active roster on September 12, 2023.[60] Maher was released on October 24, 2023, after missing three kicks in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers two days prior.[61] On January 1, 2024, Maher was re-signed by the Rams after his replacement Lucas Havrisik struggled and was released.[62] In the Rams' regular season-ending 21–20 win over the 49ers, Maher missed on one of two extra point attempts. Maher fared better in L.A.'s playoff game, converting two PATs and all three field goal attempts in the Rams' 24–23 wild card loss to the Lions.

NFL career statistics

Led the league
Bold Career high
Year Team GP Overall FGs PATs Pts
2018 DAL 16 62 29 36 80.6 32 33 97.0 119
2019 DAL 13 63 20 30 66.7 36 36 100.0 96
2021 NO 8 42 16 18 88.9 10 12 83.3 58
2022 DAL 17 60 29 32 90.6 50 53 94.3 137
2023 LAR 8 54 17 23 73.9 13 15 86.7 64
Career 62 63 111 139 79.9 141 149 94.6 474

NFL records

  • Most 60+ yard field goals made in a career (4)
  • Most missed extra points in a game (4)

Cowboys franchise records

  • Most field goals made of 50-plus yards (9)

Notes and references

  1. ^ Selected as a punter
  2. ^ Co-winner with Jeff Budzien this season
  3. ^ a b Selected both as kicker and punter
  1. ^ Hangin' With The 'Boys: Brett Maher Discusses His Journey to the NFL. YouTube. October 19, 2018. Event occurs at 33:15. Retrieved August 26, 2022 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ Edwards, Ryan. "Brett Maher's journey: Former Kearney High kicker makes NFL roster". Kearney Hub. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  3. ^ Huskers bio on Maher.[1] Retrieved September 1, 2023
  4. ^ "Brett Maher College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  5. ^ "Nebraska Huskers Profile". huskers.com. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "Huskers earn five spots on All-Big Ten". Husker247. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  7. ^ "Brett Maher Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  8. ^ "2013 Draft Scout Brett Maher, Nebraska NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". draftscout.com. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  9. ^ "4 Tryouts Signed, 3 Undrafted FAs Released". newyorkjets.com. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  10. ^ Frankel, Charlie (July 23, 2013). "Jets Sign Cundiff to Kick vs. Folk in Camp". New York Jets. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  11. ^ Archer, Todd (August 11, 2013). "Cowboys sign kicker, snapper". ESPNDallas.com. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  12. ^ Littler, Ed (August 28, 2014). "Brett Maher Released By Dallas". KHAS-TV. Archived from the original on July 26, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  13. ^ "Bombers add four to roster". bluebombers.com. May 1, 2014. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  14. ^ a b Holder, Gord (June 26, 2014). "Brett Maher getting another kick with Redblacks". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  15. ^ "Arceneaux, Willis, Maher named CFL's top players". UPI.com. July 22, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  16. ^ Baines, Tim (April 27, 2015). "RedBlacks need a new kicker". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  17. ^ "MNP By The Numbers: Brett Maher". ticats.ca. August 16, 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Former Redblacks and Ticats kicker Brett Maher to sign with Cowboys: report". 3downnation.com. April 4, 2018.
  19. ^ "Browns sign K Brett Maher". ClevelandBrowns.com. March 20, 2017. Archived from the original on March 21, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  20. ^ "Browns release K Brett Maher". ClevelandBrowns.com. May 2, 2017.
  21. ^ Williams, Charean (April 4, 2018). "Cowboys sign kicker/punter Brett Maher". ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  22. ^ Eatman, Nick (September 2, 2018). "Eatman: Wait, There Was a Kicking Competition?". Dallascowboys.com. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  23. ^ Knoblauch, Austin (October 3, 2018). "Jared Goff, Marcus Mariota among Players of the Week". NFL.com. Archived from the original on October 5, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  24. ^ "Longest Field Goals at AT&T by Cowboys". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  25. ^ "Nick Foles, Baker Mayfield among NFL Players of the Week". NFL.com. December 26, 2018. Archived from the original on December 29, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  26. ^ Grell, Clark (October 14, 2019). "Former Husker Brett Maher makes NFL history". Lincoln Journal Star. Archived from the original on October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2019 – via mycouriertribune.com.
  27. ^ Bergman, Jeremy (October 23, 2019). "Aaron Rodgers, Jacoby Brissett among Players of the Week". NFL.com.
  28. ^ Phillips, Rob (December 6, 2019). "Kicking Questions Continue After Loss To Chicago". Dallascowboys.com.
  29. ^ Shook, Nick (December 9, 2019). "Cowboys cut kicker Brett Maher, sign Kai Forbath". NFL.com.
  30. ^ Greenberg, Ethan (December 31, 2019). "Jets Sign K Brett Maher to Reserve/Future". NewYorkJets.com.
  31. ^ Greenberg, Ethan (August 31, 2020). "Jets Sign WR Donte Moncrief, Release K Brett Maher". NewYorkJets.com. Archived from the original on September 3, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  32. ^ Camenker, Jacob. "Washington Football Team signs kicker Brett Maher to practice squad". Riggos Rag. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  33. ^ "Washington Football Team Signs DT Devaroe Lawrence And DB Manny Patterson To Practice Squad, Releases K Brett Maher". WashingtonFootball.com. September 30, 2020.
  34. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (10-12-20)". HoustonTexans.com. October 12, 2020.
  35. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (12-14-20)". HoustonTexans.com. December 14, 2020. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  36. ^ Urban, Darren (December 25, 2020). "Cardinals Sign Mike Nugent, Seth DeValve To Active Roster". AZCardinals.com.
  37. ^ Urban, Darren (January 5, 2021). "Cardinals Sign 15 Players To 'Futures' Contracts". AZCardinals.com.
  38. ^ Urban, Darren (March 20, 2021). "With Matt Prater On Board, Cardinals Release Brett Maher". AZCardinals.com. Retrieved March 21, 2021.
  39. ^ "New Orleans Saints announce roster moves". NewOrleansSaints.com. February 22, 2022.
  40. ^ Alper, Josh (November 16, 2021). "Saints signing Brett Maher to practice squad". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
  41. ^ Williams, Charean (November 19, 2021). "Saints sign Brett Maher to active roster, cut Brian Johnson". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
  42. ^ "New Orleans Saints waive kicker Brett Maher". NewOrleansSaints.com. February 22, 2022.
  43. ^ Phillips, Rob (August 9, 2022). "Cowboys Waiving Garibay; Brett Maher To Sign". Dallascowboys.com.
  44. ^ Eatman, Nick (August 30, 2022). "Cowboys Make 28 Moves To Reach Roster Limit". DallasCowboys.com.
  45. ^ Eatman, Nick (August 31, 2022). "Rush, Grier & Maher Among Practice Squad Signees". DallasCowboys.com.
  46. ^ Barash, Lauren (September 18, 2022). "Brett Maher redeems himself with game-winning field goal for Cowboys". The Landry Hat. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  47. ^ "Brett Maher nails three of four field goal attempts in Week 3". FantasyPros. September 27, 2022. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  48. ^ "Brett Maher vs. Washington Commanders Stats | FantasyPros". www.fantasypros.com. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  49. ^ "Most Missed Extra Points In a Game Including Playoffs". StatMuse. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  50. ^ Schwab, Frank. "Cowboys' Brett Maher misses NFL record 4 extra points". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  51. ^ Werner, Barry. "Brett Maher with hat trick of PAT misses in first half". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  52. ^ "Brett Maher Career Game Log". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  53. ^ Williams, Charean. "Brett Maher goes 14-of-18 in pregame, gets a talk from some 49ers and Jerry Jones". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  54. ^ Archer, Todd. "Cowboys sign USFL standout Brandon Aubrey to vie for kicker job". ESPN. Retrieved July 6, 2023.
  55. ^ DiLalla, Aric. "Broncos sign K Brett Maher, WR Nick Williams". DenverBroncos.com. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  56. ^ Simmons, Myles. "Broncos to trade for Wil Lutz, release Brett Maher". NBC Sports. Retrieved August 29, 2023.
  57. ^ Dajani, Jordan. "Rams finalizing deal with former Broncos, Cowboys kicker Brett Maher, per report". CBS Sports. Retrieved August 30, 2023.
  58. ^ DaSilva, Cameron. "Why the Rams signed Brett Maher to the practice squad instead of the 53-man roster". Rams Wire. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  59. ^ Rotowire Staff. "Rams' Brett Maher: Back to practice squad". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 12, 2023.
  60. ^ @RamsNFL (September 12, 2023). "LA Rams Transactions: • Signed to Practice Squad TE Miller Forristall, P Brandon Wright • Signed K Brett Maher to Active Roster" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  61. ^ DaSilva, Cameron. "Rams release K Brett Maher amid recent struggles". Rams Wire. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
  62. ^ DaSilva, Cameron. "Rams are bringing back Brett Maher after cutting Lucas Havrisik". Rams Wire. Retrieved January 1, 2024.