The writing has been on the wall for some time, but on Wednesday afternoon it became official: Caleb Sturgis is the Dolphins’ new starting kicker and the man who formally held that title, Dan Carpenter, is now a free agent.
Miami announced its termination of Carpenter’s contract a short while ago, officially ending his five-year tenure with the team.
Carpenter was never thought to have a realistic chance in the so-called competition with the rookie, but when Sturgis was sidelined early on in camp with a groin injury, a small glimmer of hope was restored for the veteran.
Those hopes were vanquished last Friday night in Jacksonville, however, when Sturgis split the uprights on a 58-yard field goal.
The Dolphins will still be charged with $337,500 in dead money from Carpenter’s deal, but will be relieved of $2,195,000 in cap space that will likely roll over to the 2014 offseason.
For Sturgis, the pressure to compete with an experienced NFL kicker is now off. But pressure in this business at his position never subsides.
In fact, it will be amplified during the regular season, when Sturgis’ leg could decide the outcome of games and make or break the Dolphins’ season.