Brett Maher (American football)

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Brett Maher
refer to caption
Maher with the Dallas Cowboys in 2018
Free agent
Position:Placekicker
Personal information
Born: (1989-11-21) November 21, 1989 (age 31)
Fremont, Nebraska
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Kearney (Kearney, Nebraska)
College:Nebraska
Undrafted:2013
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2019
Field goals:49
Field goal attempts:66
Field goal%:74.2
Longest field goal:63
Career CFL statistics
Field goals:107
Field goal attempts:137
Longest field goal:58
Punts:368
Punt yardage:16,872
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR · CFL.ca

Brett Maher (born November 21, 1989) is an American football placekicker and punter who is a free agent. He was signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He played college football at Nebraska. He has also been a member of the Dallas Cowboys, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Ottawa Redblacks, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Cleveland Browns, Washington Football Team, Houston Texans, and Arizona Cardinals.

Early years[edit]

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.[1]

As a senior, he made 8-of-14 field goals, 41 of 46 extra points, and averaged 41.2 yards per punt. He also played wide receiver, posting 775 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. He received All-state honors from the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World-Herald at the end of the season.

In basketball, he 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.

College career[edit]

Maher turned down other football scholarship offers to walk-on at the University of Nebraska.[2] 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, he was named the starter at placekicker and punter after Henery graduated. He 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 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.[3] He 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 him 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. His 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. He 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.[4]

He finished his 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.

Collegiate statistics[edit]

Brett Maher Kicking Punting
Year G 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[edit]

New York Jets[edit]

Maher was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Jets after the 2013 NFL Draft on May 12, earning the contract following a rookie minicamp tryout.[5] He was waived on July 23, to make room for placekicker Billy Cundiff.[6]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

On August 11, 2013, Maher was signed by the Dallas Cowboys, to play in the preseason while Dan Bailey recovered from an injury.[7] He was released two weeks later on August 27.[8]

Winnipeg Blue Bombers[edit]

On May 1, 2014, Maher signed a contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL).[9] He played in two pre-season 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).[10]

Ottawa Redblacks[edit]

A few weeks after being released by Winnipeg, he signed with the Ottawa Redblacks.[10] In week four 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.[11] On May 13, 2015, he was released by the Redblacks because of a hip injury he suffered in the prior month, before the start of training camp.[12] He missed all but 4 games during the season due to the injury.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats[edit]

On May 19, 2016, Maher signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats after taking part in a team mini-camp.[13] He completed 82% of his field goal attempts that season, going 41-for-50, and had a punt average of 45.9 yards.[14]

Cleveland Browns[edit]

On March 20, 2017, Maher signed with the Cleveland Browns.[15] On May 2, he was released after not being able to pass rookie Zane Gonzalez on the depth chart.[16]

Ottawa Redblacks (second stint)[edit]

On June 10, 2017, Maher signed with the Ottawa Redblacks. He achieved the same completion percentage as the previous season in Hamilton (82%), recording the same amount of field goals (41) on 50 attempts. His punt average was 46.7 yards.[14]

Dallas Cowboys (second stint)[edit]

2018 season[edit]

On April 4, 2018, Maher signed with the Dallas Cowboys, to limit the off-season workload of Dan Bailey.[17] He 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.[18] His NFL debut came in the season opener against the Carolina Panthers, where he missed his first career field goal attempt (47 yards). He would then go on to make fifteen straight field goal attempts.

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 win over the Detroit Lions, earning him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.[19] On October 14 in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Maher converted 4 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, he missed either a field goal or an extra point in 4 straight games.

On November 18, Maher kicked a 48-yard game-winning field goal to beat the Atlanta Falcons.[20] On December 9, 2018, Maher 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.

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.[21] He 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 4 games.

He finished with 29-of-36 field goals (80.6%), 32-of-33 extra points and 67.5% touchbacks of his kickoffs. He 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 40–49 yards (7-of-11).

2019 season[edit]

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 13, in a loss against the New York Jets, Maher became the first kicker in NFL history to have two made field goals of 62 or more yards in a career.[22] On October 6, he made one out of 3 field goal attempts against the Green Bay Packers.

On October 20, Maher set a new career long and broke his own Cowboys franchise record when he scored a 63-yard field goal against the Philadelphia Eagles. On the game, he converted all four of his extra points and all three of his field goals, earning him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.[23] 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 2 field goals (one deflected) in the 15–26 loss against the Buffalo Bills.

On December 5, he missed a 42-yard field goal in the 31–24 loss against the Chicago Bears, his 10th miss of the season. Although he connected on a 31-yard attempt in the final two minutes to cut the lead to 7 points, he also hit a kickoff out of bounds early in the fourth quarter, helping the Bears take over at their own 40-yard. 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”.[24]

On December 9, with the team experiencing a streak of three straight losses and in danger of missing the playoffs, Maher was released by the Cowboys due to accuracy concerns.[25] He finished the season converting just 20-of-30 field goals (67%), 7-of-13 (54%) on attempts between 30 and 49 yards, missing at least one attempt in 8 of 13 games and making all 36 extra points. He also set NFL career (3) and single-season (2) records for most field goals made of over 60 yards. He was replaced with Kai Forbath.

New York Jets (second stint)[edit]

On December 31, 2019, the Jets signed Maher to a reserve/futures contract and was waived on August 31, 2020.[26][27]

Washington Football Team[edit]

Maher signed with the practice squad of the Washington Football Team on September 10, 2020,[28] before being released on September 30, 2020.[29]

Houston Texans[edit]

On October 12, 2020, Maher was signed to the Houston Texans' practice squad.[30] He was released on December 14, 2020.[31]

Arizona Cardinals[edit]

On December 25, 2020, Maher was signed to the Arizona Cardinals' practice squad.[32] He signed a reserve/future contract on January 5, 2021.[33] On March 20, 2021, Maher was waived by the Cardinals.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Edwards, Ryan. "Brett Maher's journey: Former Kearney High kicker makes NFL roster". Kearney Hub. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  2. ^ "Brett Maher College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  3. ^ "Nebraska Huskers Profile". huskers.com. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  4. ^ "Huskers earn five spots on All-Big Ten". Husker247. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  5. ^ "4 Tryouts Signed, 3 Undrafted FAs Released". newyorkjets.com. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Archer, Todd (August 11, 2013). "Cowboys sign kicker, snapper". ESPNDallas.com. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  8. ^ Littler, Ed (August 28, 2014). "Brett Maher Released By Dallas". KHAS-TV. Archived from the original on July 26, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  9. ^ "Bombers add four to roster". bluebombers.com. May 1, 2014. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Holder, Gord (June 26, 2014). "Brett Maher getting another kick with Redblacks". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  11. ^ "Arceneaux, Willis, Maher named CFL's top players". UPI.com. July 22, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  12. ^ Baines, Tim (April 27, 2015). "RedBlacks need a new kicker". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  13. ^ "MNP By The Numbers: Brett Maher". ticats.ca. August 16, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Former Redblacks and Ticats kicker Brett Maher to sign with Cowboys: report". 3downnation.com. April 4, 2018.
  15. ^ "Browns sign K Brett Maher". ClevelandBrowns.com. March 20, 2017. Archived from the original on March 21, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "Browns release K Brett Maher". ClevelandBrowns.com. May 2, 2017.
  17. ^ Williams, Charean (April 4, 2018). "Cowboys sign kicker/punter Brett Maher". ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  18. ^ Eatman, Nick (September 2, 2018). "Eatman: Wait, There Was a Kicking Competition?". Dallascowboys.com. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  19. ^ Knoblauch, Austin (October 3, 2018). "Jared Goff, Marcus Mariota among Players of the Week". NFL.com. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  20. ^ "Longest Field Goals at AT&T by Cowboys". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  21. ^ "Nick Foles, Baker Mayfield among NFL Players of the Week". NFL.com. December 26, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Bergman, Jeremy (October 23, 2019). "Aaron Rodgers, Jacoby Brissett among Players of the Week". NFL.com.
  24. ^ Phillips, Rob (December 6, 2019). "Kicking Questions Continue After Loss To Chicago". Dallascowboys.com.
  25. ^ Shook, Nick (December 9, 2019). "Cowboys cut kicker Brett Maher, sign Kai Forbath". NFL.com.
  26. ^ Greenberg, Ethan (December 31, 2019). "Jets Sign K Brett Maher to Reserve/Future". NewYorkJets.com.
  27. ^ Greenberg, Ethan (August 31, 2020). "Jets Sign WR Donte Moncrief, Release K Brett Maher". NewYorkJets.com.
  28. ^ Camenker, Jacob. "Washington Football Team signs kicker Brett Maher to practice squad". Riggos Rag. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  29. ^ "Washington Football Team Signs DT Devaroe Lawrence And DB Manny Patterson To Practice Squad, Releases K Brett Maher". WashingtonFootball.com. September 30, 2020.
  30. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (10-12-20)". HoustonTexans.com. October 12, 2020.
  31. ^ "Houston Texans Transactions (12-14-20)". HoustonTexans.com. December 14, 2020. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  32. ^ Urban, Darren (December 25, 2020). "Cardinals Sign Mike Nugent, Seth DeValve To Active Roster". AZCardinals.com.
  33. ^ Urban, Darren (January 5, 2021). "Cardinals Sign 15 Players To 'Futures' Contracts". AZCardinals.com.
  34. ^ Urban, Darren (March 20, 2021). "With Matt Prater On Board, Cardinals Release Brett Maher". AZCardinals.com. Retrieved March 21, 2021.

External links[edit]