Veteran PKs Graham, Suisham visit New England

Posted Oct. 06, 2010 @ 9 p.m.
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The Patriots had two veteran placekickers in for a visit, with Shayne Graham and Shaun Suisham trying out for the team.

PK Stephen Gostkowski has struggled a bit with his FG kicking this season, converting just 4-of-7 attempts, though he is coming off a 2-for-2 evening in the Pats' 41-14 romp over Miami. His kickoffs, however, have been excellent, with 10 touchbacks on the season, including five on Monday night.

Graham was cut by the Ravens just before the season, losing a preseason battle with Billy Cundiff after signing with Baltimore as a free agent in the offseason. The 32-year-old had spent his previous seven seasons with the Bengals, and has made 85.2 percent of his career FG attempts.

Suisham, 28, was cut by the Rams in training camp. He is a fifth-year veteran who has made 79.1 percent of his career FG attempts. He played the first 12 games of last season with the Redskins before being cut and getting picked up by the Cowboys for the last two regular-season games and two playoff games.

The Patriots also worked out LS Matt Katula and QB Brett Ratliff.

The way we see it

Gostkowski is in no danger of losing his PK job — yet. While the Patriots are very happy with his kickoffs — he's averaging a career-best 69.3 yards on his kickoffs in 2010, he has looked shaky with his FG kicking. Looking at veterans like Graham and Suisham likely was Bill Belichick's way of seeing for himself what they have to offer and if they are viable candidates to turn to if Gostkowski's struggles worsen.

Were that to happen, it's conceivable that Belichick could bring in a veteran kicker to replace him. It's even possible that Gostkowski could retain his roster spot as a kickoff specialist with a veteran PK handling FG duties.