The New England Patriots will release former Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Matthew Wright after rookie Chad Ryland responded to competition well against Pittsburgh, nailing three of three on extra points. Wright was signed to the team’s practice squad, according to Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald.
The Patriots set out to get their kicker position solved this offseason, even though Nick Folk was solid a year ago. They spent a fourth-round pick on Ryland out of Maryland, but this season, he is just 12 of 18 on field goals. Wright has kicked in the league many places before, including in Pittsburgh a year ago, which aided him to get opportunities across the league.
So the Patriots are taking out an insurance policy in the name of Wright, who was cut by the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers at various points this season. Wright served as a backup for both the Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs last year, making 83.3% of his kicks with a long of 59 yards and going 15 for 15 on extra points. To his credit, Wright has been solid in the limited stints that teams have given him.
Wright did not get elevated from the practice squad for their clash with the Steelers at Acrisure Stadium, but they never needed him as Ryland came through for the group when needed.