You wanted real competition for Kris Brown? You got it. Neil Rackers, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals, is now a member of your Houston Texans, according to Adam Shefter.
The deal is for two years with a total of $4.1 million available to Rackers, but only $350K of it guaranteed, which means he can easily be cut if he bombs training camp and the pre-season.
I'm a big fan of this deal. After the horrendous kicking display Brown put on last season, he needs a guy like Rackers to breathe down his neck before the season. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Rackers wins an open competition between the two.
Last year, Rackers hit 16 of 17 field goals, going 4/4 from 20-29 yards out, 6/6 from 30-39, and 6/7 from 40-49. Compare that to Brown (21/32 overall, 11/13 from 20-29, 6/9 from 30-39, 2/6 from 40-49, 2/4 from 50 out) and we have ourselves a winner. The only knock on Rackers is his inconsistency in the playoffs. He missed an easy kick from extra point range against the Packers in round one, and botched two vs. the Saints in the conference semifinals. In his defense, he was playing with a groin injury which, regardless of my lack of medical expertise, seems like an injury that would affect any kicker. And besides, it's not like Brown fared much better in similar situations. At all.
It's probably also a good idea to get to the playoffs before worrying about our kickers botching late post-season field goal situations.