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Brett Maher (American football)

Brett Maher (born November 21, 1989) is an American football placekicker for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL) and former kicker in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He played college football at the University of Nebraska.

Brett Maher
refer to caption
Maher in 2018.
No. 2 – Dallas Cowboys
Position:Placekicker, Punter
Personal information
Born: (1989-11-21) November 21, 1989 (age 30)
Fremont, Nebraska
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Kearney (Kearney, Nebraska)
College:Nebraska
Undrafted:2013
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 7, 2019
Field goals:39
Field goal attempts:50
Field goal%:78.0
Longest field goal:63
Touchbacks:68
Player stats at NFL.com
Career CFL statistics
Field goals:107
Field goal attempts:137
Longest field goal:58
Punts:368
Punt yardage:16,872
Player stats at PFR
Player stats at CFL.ca

Early years

Maher attended Centennial Public Schools, in Utica, Nebraska, his first three years of high school before transferring to Kearney High School, where he played high school football for the Bearcats.[1] As a senior, he made 8 of 14 field goals, 41 of 46 extra points, and averaged 41.2 yards per punt. He also played wide receiver, posting 775 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. He received All-state honors from the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World-Herald at the end of the season.

In basketball, he was an honorable-mention Class A all-state pick as a senior. In track, he won the long jump and pole vault state championships as a senior, setting a state record in the latter.

College career

Maher turned down other football scholarship offers to walk-on at the University of Nebraska.[2] As a redshirt freshman and as a sophomore, he appeared in all games as the holder for field goals and extra points, while also serving as the backup punter behind Alex Henery.

As a junior, he was named the starter at placekicker and punter after Henery graduated. He made 19-of-23 field goals, 43-of-44 extra points and averaged 41.38 yards per punt. He received Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honors three times, while being named Eddleman-Fields Big Ten Punter of the Year and Bakken-Andersen Big Ten Kicker of the Year.[3]

As a senior, the school awarded him with a football scholarship. He made 20 of 27 field goals, all of his 59 extra point attempts, 57 touchbacks out of 96 kickoffs, and averaged 41.8 yards per punt. His 20 field goals ranked second in school history for a season, and his 119 points set a record for most points scored by a kicker. He ranked third overall in conference in scoring and first among kickers. He received the Bakken-Andersen Big Ten Kicker-of-the-Year Award for the second straight year.[4]

Collegiate statistics

Brett Maher Kicking Punting
Year School Conf Class Pos G XPM XPA XP% FGM FGA FG% Pts Punts Yds Avg
2011 Nebraska Big Ten JR P 13 43 44 97.7 19 23 82.6 100 59 2,626 44.5
2012 Nebraska Big Ten SR P 14 59 59 100.0 20 27 74.1 119 61 2,552 41.8
Career Nebraska 102 103 99.0 39 50 78.0 219 120 5,178 43.2

Professional career

New York Jets

Maher was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Jets after the 2013 NFL Draft on May 12, earning the contract after a rookie tryout.[5] He was waived on July 23, to make room for placekicker Billy Cundiff.[6]

Dallas Cowboys

On August 11, 2013, Maher was signed by the Dallas Cowboys, to play in the preseason while Dan Bailey recovered from an injury.[7] He was released two weeks later on August 27.[8]

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

On May 1, 2014, Maher signed a contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL).[9] He played in two pre-season games for the Bombers before being released by the team due to the restrictions on the number of national and international players on the team's roster, keeping their Canadian incumbent (Lirim Hajrullahu).[10]

Ottawa Redblacks

A few weeks after being released by Winnipeg he signed with the Ottawa Redblacks.[10] In week four of the season, Maher was named the CFL's Special Teams Player of the Week after going 6-for-6 on field goals, scoring all the Redblacks' points in an 18-17 decision over the Toronto Argonauts. The win marked the expansion club's first-ever win.[11] On May 13, 2015, he was released by the Redblacks, because of a hip injury he suffered in the prior month, before the start of training camp.[12]

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

On May 19, 2016, Maher signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats following taking part in a team mini-camp.[13] He completed 82% of his field goal attempts that season, going 41 for 50, and had a punt average of 45.9 yards.[14]

Cleveland Browns

On March 20, 2017, Maher signed with the Cleveland Browns.[15] On May 2, he was released after not being able to pass rookie Zane Gonzalez on the depth chart.[16]

Ottawa Redblacks (second stint)

On June 10, 2017, Maher signed with the Ottawa Redblacks. He achieved the same completion percentage as the previous season in Hamilton (82%), recording the same amount of field goals (41) on 50 attempts. His punt average was 46.7 yards.[14]

Dallas Cowboys (second stint)

On April 4, 2018, Maher signed with the Dallas Cowboys, to limit the off season workload of Dan Bailey.[17] On September 1, the Cowboys in a surprise move released Bailey, making Maher the kicker for the Cowboys to start the 2018 season.[18] In Week 4, Maher kicked four field goals, including a 38-yard game winner as time expired, in a 26-24 win over the Detroit Lions, earning him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.[19] On October 14 in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Maher converted a 55-yard field goal which at the time was his career long and the second longest field goal in AT&T Stadium behind Dan Bailey's 56-yard field goal. On November 18, 2018, Maher kicked a 48-yard game winning field goal to beat the Atlanta Falcons.[20] On December 9, 2018, Maher kicked a new career long 62-yard field goal against the Philadelphia Eagles as time expired in the first half. That field goal was a franchise record for the Cowboys and tied for the third-longest in NFL history. In Week 16, Maher converted two field goals and three extra points in a 27-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, earning him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.[21] On October 13, 2019, in a loss against the New York Jets, Maher became the first kicker in NFL history to have two made field goals of 62 or more yards in a career.[22] On October 20, 2019, Maher set a new career long and broke his own Cowboys franchise record when he scored a 63-yard field goal against the Philadelphia Eagles. On the game, he converted all four of his extra points and all three of his field goals, earning him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.[23]

References

  1. ^ Edwards, Ryan. "Brett Maher's journey: Former Kearney High kicker makes NFL roster". Kearney Hub. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  2. ^ "Brett Maher College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  3. ^ "Nebraska Huskers Profile". huskers.com. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  4. ^ "Huskers earn five spots on All-Big Ten". Husker247. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  5. ^ "4 Tryouts Signed, 3 Undrafted FAs Released". newyorkjets.com. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  6. ^ Frankel, Charlie (July 23, 2013). "Jets Sign Cundiff to Kick vs. Folk in Camp". New York Jets. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  7. ^ Archer, Todd (August 11, 2013). "Cowboys sign kicker, snapper". ESPNDallas.com. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  8. ^ Littler, Ed (August 28, 2014). "Brett Maher Released By Dallas". KHAS-TV. Archived from the original on July 26, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  9. ^ "Bombers add four to roster". bluebombers.com. May 1, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Holder, Gord (June 26, 2014). "Brett Maher getting another kick with Redblacks". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  11. ^ "Arceneaux, Willis, Maher named CFL's top players". UPI.com. July 22, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  12. ^ Baines, Tim (April 27, 2015). "RedBlacks need a new kicker". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  13. ^ "MNP By The Numbers: Brett Maher". ticats.ca. August 16, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Former Redblacks and Ticats kicker Brett Maher to sign with Cowboys: report". 3downnation.com. April 4, 2018.
  15. ^ "Browns sign K Brett Maher". ClevelandBrowns.com. March 20, 2017. Archived from the original on March 21, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "Browns release K Brett Maher". ClevelandBrowns.com. May 2, 2017.
  17. ^ Williams, Charean (April 4, 2018). "Cowboys sign kicker/punter Brett Maher". ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  18. ^ Eatman, Nick (September 2, 2018). "Eatman: Wait, There Was a Kicking Competition?". Dallascowboys.com. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  19. ^ Knoblauch, Austin (October 3, 2018). "Jared Goff, Marcus Mariota among Players of the Week". NFL.com. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  20. ^ "Longest Field Goals at AT&T by Cowboys". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  21. ^ "Nick Foles, Baker Mayfield among NFL Players of the Week". NFL.com. December 26, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  22. ^ Star, CLARK GRELL Lincoln Journal. "Former Husker Brett Maher makes NFL history". Courier-Tribune. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  23. ^ Bergman, Jeremy (October 23, 2019). "Aaron Rodgers, Jacoby Brissett among Players of the Week". NFL.com.

External links