Saints waive struggling kicker Brian Johnson, promote Brett Maher

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As expected, the New Orleans Saints have moved on from rookie kicker Brian Johnson and promoted Brett Maher from the practice squad. Johnson nailed all eight of his field goal tries across four games for the Saints, but his inconsistency on extra point attempts (where he went 5-of-8) was too problematic to ignore. Johnson made all 131 point-after tries in his Virginia Tech career, but moving the attempt from the 3-yard line (a 21-yard attempt) in college to the 15-yard line (a 33-yard try) in the NFL was a tough adjustment.

In a corresponding move, the Saints signed Maher from their practice squad and he will be their kicker in Sunday’s game with the Philadelphia Eagles (which also happens to be his 32nd birthday). Maher connected on 49 of 66 field goals over two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys while making 68 of 69 point-after tries.

Maher initially signed with the Saints as their first choice to replace injured Pro Bowler Wil Lutz, but the veteran injured himself warming up for a preseason game and landed on injured reserve. After that the Saints cycled through a series of options ranging from Johnson to Cody Parkey and Aldrick Rosas, so hopefully Maher can be steady enough to finish out the season.

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