Bryant said Tuesday that he wants to continue playing in the NFL and remains confident in his abilities to perform at a high level, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. "I want to go where I'm wanted," the 43-year-old kicker explained. "I can still hit from 57 yards. I can still make the game-winning kick." Atlanta elected to let go of the ever-reliable Bryant last Wednesday, clearing up cap space for much-needed roster moves on both sides of the ball and providing Giorgio Tavecchio with an opportunity to become the Falcons' full-time place kicker. There are multiple teams who could use the services of Bryant, who connected on an extraordinary 20 of 21 field-goal tries last year. Though his ultimate destination remains up in the air, there is one team of the seven that posted a sub-80 percent field-goal rate that seems to make a lot of sense. When asked about returning to the Buccaneers, an organization in which he spent four seasons between 2005 and 2008, Bryant reported to ESPN's Vaughn McClure that "They are definitely an option. I could definitely (see myself) going back there to play. Bucs special teams coach Keith (Armstrong) knows me, and I know him."
Bryant announced Wednesday via his personal Twitter account that the Falcons informed him of his release from the roster. Bryant's post came a day after he noted that he intends to continue his career. If that's the case, Bryant will likely now need to find a home outside Atlanta, where he spent the past 10 seasons. He converted 88.7 percent of his field-goal attempts in a Falcons uniform, including 20 of 21 (95.2 percent) during the 2018 campaign. The 43-year-old missed three games with a hamstring injury, and he's been bothered by his back at times the past few seasons. Even with concerns about his durability, Bryant shouldn't have much trouble finding another job.
Bryant said via Twitter on Tuesday that he is not retiring. Bryant is coming off his most efficient season as a kicker, as he made 20 of 21 field goals in 2018. The longtime Falcon will turn 44 in May and is under contract for two more seasons in Atlanta, as the team is likely to happily welcome his return in 2019.
Bryant connected on field-goal attempts of 49 and 37 yards, while converting on all four of his point-after tries during Sunday's 34-32 win against the Buccaneers. Like fine wine, Bryant continues to improve with age. In his 17th pro season, the 43-year-old Bryant converted on 20 of 21 field-goal tries (95.2 percent), comfortably surpassing his previous career-best field goal percentage of 93.1 among seasons in which he attempted at least 10 field goals. It's hard enough to find a serviceable option at kicker, let alone an elite one, and the Falcons would almost certainly embrace the idea of Bryant returning for an 11th year with the franchise. Whether that is in Bryant's plans remains inconclusive as the 2018 regular season winds to a close.
Bryant converted on his lone field-goal attempt of 39 yards and went 3-for-3 on extra points during Sunday's 24-10 win against the Panthers. Bryant continues to build upon his ever-reliable form, knocking nine of his 10 field-goal tries through the uprights since returning from a hamstring injury Week 11 and converting on 18 of 19 field-goal attempts overall this season. If there is a black mark on Bryant's 2018 resume, it comes as a result of shaky results on point-after tries. The veteran kicker has missed multiple PATs for the first time in his past 17 seasons as a pro. In Week 17, Bryant's fantasy upside remains limited facing a Buccaneers team that's allowed 25 field-goal attempts all year, largely in part to a putrid red-zone defense that is allowing touchdowns on 77.8 percent of opponents' red-zone drives.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/20||Los Angeles Rams||19||7.32|
|10||11/10||@New Orleans Saints||1||5.72|
|12||11/24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||22||7.38|
|13||11/29||New Orleans Saints||1||5.72|
|15||12/15||@San Francisco 49ers||23||7.44|
|17||12/29||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||22||7.38|