June 24, 2024

Despite surpassing expectations in 2023, the Green Bay Packers left many fans feeling that they fell short against the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers held the lead for the majority of the game until the 49ers secured a 24-21 lead late in the fourth quarter.

Kicker Anders Carlson’s crucial miss from 41 yards out during the fourth quarter, which could have given the Packers a seven-point lead, stands out. While the team had other opportunities to secure the game before the missed field goal, those three points ultimately proved to be the deciding factor. Today, the Packers announced the signing of additional competition for Carlson.

As per Bill Huber’s report, the Green Bay Packers have officially signed kicker Jack Podlesny. During his senior season with the Bulldogs, Podlesny earned the title of SEC Special Teams Player of the Year by successfully making 26-of-31 field-goal attempts and converting 73-of-74 point-after tries. Notably, he secured first-team all-SEC kicker honors, outshining Carlson.

Over three seasons, Podlesny achieved an 82.4 percent success rate in field goals, with a slightly lower percentage (56.5 percent) from distances of 40-plus yards. A memorable moment in his freshman year was a game-winning 53-yard field goal in the Peach Bowl against Cincinnati.

Reflecting on that winning kick, Podlesny shared, “Trotting out there, I was trying to treat it like any other kick. Honestly, I’m going to give it to you straight, I don’t remember much — I kind of blacked out during that experience.”

Although undrafted, Podlesny spent the offseason and the initial part of training camp with the Minnesota Vikings, where he didn’t attempt any kicks in the preseason but made an impactful high-pressure kick to conclude the offseason program.

Green Bay drafted Carlson in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL draft. Despite a strong start with his first 17 successful kicks, he encountered a prolonged slump from which he struggled to recover. His season was marked by missing 11 kicks in the regular season, along with an additional missed extra point in the wild-card win at Dallas and a field goal in the divisional round.

As the 2024 season approaches, the kicker position appears to be open for competition. Despite the debate surrounding legendary kicker Mason Crosby’s departure, expectations for Carlson were not met by fans this season.

The signing of Podlesny might signal the beginning of a series of tryouts for the Packers’ kicking position until they find a candidate who instills confidence in the team.

Nov 12, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Green Bay Packers kicker Anders Carlson (17) following a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

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