Greg Zuerlein Re-Signs with Rams: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2016

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 21: Greg Zuerlein #4 of the St. Louis Rams kicks prior to a game against the New York Giants at the Edward Jones Dome on December 21, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)
Michael Thomas/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams reached an agreement Friday with kicker Greg Zuerlein on a new one-year contract, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

The deal has a base value of $1.25 million with $675,000 guaranteed, per NFL Network's Rand Getlin. The maximum value Zuerlein can earn from the new pact is $3.3 million. 

Zuerlein was a sixth-round pick of the Rams in 2012. He's displayed an impressive leg across his first four seasons in the NFL, connecting on 16 field-goal attempts from beyond 50 yards, but accuracy is a serious concern.

The 28-year-old kicker made 93 percent of his field goals in 2013. He has failed to convert on more than 80 percent of his attempts in any of the other three seasons, however. And his success rate dropped to a career-low 67 percent last season.

Nate Latsch of Scout showcased an interesting trend that illustrated the wide gap between Zuerlein's performance depending on the half:

So not only was "Legatron" hitting his field goals at a subpar clip, but most of the misses also came in the more crucial second half.

After the season ended, he admitted his performance wasn't good enough, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com:

Obviously, the production hasn't been where it needs to be. So that's something that I can't control right now. I had my opportunities, I just didn't do as good as I would have liked so now we'll just see what happens.

Any time you go out there and miss kicks, you are not going to be happy about it. I think I've got to get better and convert those kicks. Really, that's all it comes down to is making kicks, and I didn't make as many as I would have liked.

Unfortunately for Zuerlein, the struggles impacted him during the final year of his contract, which sent him into free agency on a low note.

He decided going back to the Rams was his best bet. It's the landing spot where he could receive the most leeway since the coaching staff witnessed his prior success, but he'll still likely need to win a training camp battle to earn the starting job.

It's a worthwhile re-signing for Los Angeles. Even though Zuerlein failed to deliver last season, his strong leg gives him the ability to emerge as one of the league's most valuable kickers once again if his success rate can at least get into the mid-80s.

Kicker is one of the positions that's rarely discussed unless it's a problem. Zuerlein's struggles were an issue for the Rams last year, but he now hopes to reverse that trend in 2016.

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