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Does Kasay Signing to Saints Mean Bad Blood?

About a month ago kicker John Kasay and last original Panther from the 1995 expansion team was released by Carolina in a move that many believed was unnecessary. As a player, his only real negative mark was the botched kickoff that gave the Patriots a short field to get the game winning field goal in Super Bowl 38. Since then his reputation is unmatched both as an off-the-field cavalier and an on-the-field hero.


At the time of his release, fans were shocked  to hear that he was being let go. I for one thought it was a classless move to treat a player, who has been loyal to the organization from the beginning, as if he were just a commodity. Kasay is an unflinching, field goal specialist that has won many games for the Panthers through the years with his consistency, but he doesn’t handle kickoffs anymore. Now as we get closer to the regular season, we can see how valuable it is to have a kicker who can put it through the endzone every time on kickoff. Not only that, but also consistently kicks long field goals. It is more clear what J.R. and Hurney were up to now that we’ve seen how Olindo Mare takes care of business.


The rationale behind the move is clear and Kasay acknowledged his understanding with class by writing a heartfelt letter to the fans without any sign of malice towards the Panthers. In fact, he maintained the honor he felt playing with them through the years and didn’t seem to hold any grudges. That takes us to what happened this Tuesday.


What happened was Kasay signed with the New Orleans Saints! “Oh my goodness,” were the words J.R. said after learning that Kasay was going to the Saints. However, is he really surprised? There are two scenarios that could have occurred here. One, Kasay is possibly the oldest player in the NFL and about to begin his 21st season. He retired after his release and seemed fine with it. However, when a player has expectations to continue playing and is unexpectedly released, almost any offer they get without working for it they will accept. Even if it is for a rival team. Can you really blame him?


Two, if Kasay were truly upset by his release, which I imagine he was, this would be an excellent opportunity to return the favor. After signing a contract with a rival of the Panthers, Kasay knows that all bets are off. When not in uniform relationships with Panther players may be intact, but during game time, you can expect that either team will do what is necessary to win. Even if it means sticking it to your old teammates. This seems like a perfect time for Kasay to show his gratitude to J.R. after he puts a couple of game winners through the uprights against the Panthers.


Whatever his motives are he made the right decision. You can’t expect a player to pass on easy money just because he will be playing against his former team. There’s no knowing if Kasay received more offers and chose only the Saints, but the deal makes sense. Kasay was meant to retire as a Panther. Now he’ll retire as the enemy. History has already written how this scenario plays out.

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