With Hartley injured, Saints sign Kasay

The Sports Xchange

The Saints signed 20-year veteran kicker John Kasay following a hip injury suffered by Garrett Hartley during Sunday's preseason victory over Oakland.

Coach Sean Payton wouldn't discuss the severity of Hartley's injury, saying only that it doesn't affect his future with the team.

"It really doesn???t affect his future, but certainly we have to make sure all of our bases are covered when we make a decision like this," Payton said. "We haven't put a timetable on it, but we play in a week and a half so we have to be prepared either way."

The severity of Hartley's injury isn't known, but it's clearly significant enough for the team to bring in Kasay less than two weeks before the start of the season. Hartley was injured while kicking an extra point in the second half, and the Saints opted to attempt two-point conversions on their final two touchdowns.

Hartley signed a five-year deal in March. He struggled early last season and made just five of his first field goals, but rebounded nicely and made his final 13 attempts of the season including the playoffs. He connected on 18 of his last 19 tried and finished 23-of-25.

Kasay, who had been with the Panthers since their inaugural season in 1995, announced his intention to retire in July after Carolina signed Olindo Mare in free agency. However, before the lockout began in March, Kasay said he had no intention of retiring.

"It's a big change. I spent a lot of years in Charlotte but this is a great opportunity and I am very grateful for the chance," Kasay said Tuesday. "This came together obviously very quickly based on what happened to Garrett. That???s just the nature of the league. I am married. I have four children and school started last week. I was back-to-school-night last night. That's how fast life changes."

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