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Samuel James Ficken (born December 14, 1992) is an American football placekicker for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Penn State. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015, and has also been a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, and Green Bay Packers.

Sam Ficken
No. 9 – New York Jets
Position:Placekicker
Personal information
Born: (1992-12-14) December 14, 1992 (age 26)
Valparaiso, Indiana
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:192 lb (87 kg)
Career information
High school:Valparaiso (Valparaiso, Indiana)
College:Penn State
Undrafted:2015
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 2, 2019
Field goals:4
Field goal attempts:7
Field goal %:57
Longest:46
Touchbacks:16
Player stats at NFL.com

High school careerEdit

Ficken, a former soccer player, was born in Valparaiso, Indiana, and attended Valparaiso High School, where he was named first-team Associated Press Class 5A all-state kicker. He also was a member of the all-area team. Ficken made 13 field goals during his senior year, including a school-record 52-yard kick. He also had 45 touchbacks on kickoffs.[1]

College careerEdit

Ficken saw little action in 2011 behind veteran starting kicker, Anthony Fera. He hit an extra point after touchdown in the opener against Indiana State, as well as kicking off once. He missed his first collegiate field goal attempt in a game against Temple, but rebounded with a completed field goal against Eastern Michigan.[2] Besides two more kickoffs, Ficken did not play for the remainder of the year.[1]

Ficken became the starting kicker in 2012. Ficken started the year off poorly, missing 7 of his first 11 field goals (including one from the one yard line in a game against Illinois, as well as missing 4 out of 5 in a one-point loss to Virginia[3]). However, after being mentored by starting Chicago Bears placekicker Robbie Gould,[4] he finished the year by hitting ten straight successful field goals, putting him 14 for 21 on the year. Ficken also completed 39 of 41 extra-point attempts (one was blocked, the other one was a miss).[2] He was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week on November 26, 2012, after a 3 for 3 game against the Wisconsin Badgers, one of which was the game-winning kick in overtime.[4]

Ficken made 15 consecutive field goals from October 27, 2012 to September 14, 2013, breaking the Penn State record for consecutive field goals made.[5]

To start the 2014 season, Ficken kicked a last-second, game-winning field goal in the Croke Park Classic.[6] During the Pinstripe Bowl against Boston College, Ficken tied the game with a 44-yard field goal and kicked the game-winning point after touchdown in overtime.

Professional careerEdit

After going undrafted during the 2015 NFL Draft, Ficken attended the Kansas City Chiefs minicamp in May 2015, but was not signed.[7]

Jacksonville JaguarsEdit

Ficken was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars on July 25, 2016.[8] On August 29, 2016, he was waived by the Jaguars.[9]

Kansas City ChiefsEdit

On August 8, 2017, Ficken signed with the Kansas City Chiefs after an injury to Cairo Santos.[10] He was waived on September 2, 2017.[11]

Los Angeles RamsEdit

On December 20, 2017, Ficken was signed by the Los Angeles Rams to replace injured Pro Bowl kicker Greg Zuerlein.[12] On April 16, 2018, Ficken signed his exclusive rights tender, staying with the Rams.[13] He was waived on August 31, 2018.[14] Ficken was re-signed on September 17 following another injury to Greg Zuerlein.[15] On September 23, Ficken made five PATs in a 35–23 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Ficken was released by the Rams on October 2, 2018 after just two games, in which he missed two of his three field goal attempts.[16]

Seattle SeahawksEdit

On January 11, 2019, Ficken signed a reserve/future contract with the Seattle Seahawks.[17] He was waived on April 13, 2019.[18]

Green Bay PackersEdit

On April 15, 2019, Ficken was claimed off waivers by the Green Bay Packers.[19] On August 31, 2019, Ficken was waived by the Packers.[20]

New York JetsEdit

Ficken was signed by the New York Jets on September 10, 2019.[21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Sam Ficken Profile – Penn state Official Athletic Site". Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Sam Ficken Stats, News, Videos, Pictures, Bio – Penn State Nittany Lions". ESPN. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  3. ^ Pencek, Matthew (September 10, 2012). "Sam Ficken's bad day recalls Penn State kicker Ray Tarasi and redemption". PennLive LLC. Archived from the original on March 9, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b Kaplan, Emily. "Penn State's Jordan Hill, Sam Ficken honored by Big Ten". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  5. ^ Moyer, Josh. "Sam Ficken goes from goat to hero". ESPN. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  6. ^ Crowe, Aisling (August 31, 2014). "Croke Park lights up as sport and theatre collide". The Irish Independent. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  7. ^ "Penn State's Sam Ficken plans to follow Robbie Gould's model for NFL success". mcall.com. April 28, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  8. ^ "Jacksonville Jaguars on Twitter". Retrieved July 25, 2016.[non-primary source needed]
  9. ^ Oehser, John (August 29, 2016). "CB Demetrius McCray among eight players waived". Jaguars.com.
  10. ^ Thorman, Joel (August 9, 2017). "With Cairo Santos nursing an injury, Chiefs sign former Penn State kicker". ArrowheadPride.com.
  11. ^ "Chiefs Roster Down to NFL Mandated 53". Chiefs.com. September 2, 2017. Archived from the original on June 3, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ Simmons, Myles (December 20, 2017). "Rams Place Greg Zuerlein on IR, Sign Ficken". TheRams.com.
  13. ^ Simmons, Myles (April 16, 2018). "Rams Sign Three Exclusive Rights Free Agents". TheRams.com.
  14. ^ "Rams Make Initial Roster Cuts". TheRams.com. August 31, 2018.
  15. ^ "Rams Sign K Sam Ficken, Place WR Mike Thomas on IR". TheRams.com. September 17, 2018.
  16. ^ DaSilva, Cameron (October 2, 2018). "Rams release Sam Ficken, work out two veteran kickers". The Rams Wire.
  17. ^ Condotta, Bob (January 11, 2019). "With Sebastian Janikowski's future uncertain, Seahawks sign kicker Sam Ficken". The Seattle Times.
  18. ^ Alper, Josh (April 12, 2019). "Seahawks waive Sam Ficken, Emmanuel Beal". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.
  19. ^ "Packers claim K Sam Ficken". Packers.com. April 15, 2019.
  20. ^ "Packers announce roster moves". Packers.com. August 31, 2019.
  21. ^ Greenberg, Ethan. "Jets Sign K Sam Ficken". NewYorkJets.com. Retrieved September 10, 2019.

External linksEdit