HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: Neil Rackers #4 of the Houston Texans reacts after missing a field goal attempt against the Carolina Panthers at Reliant Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The Texans have lost kicker Neil Rackers to the Washington Redskins. Both John McClain and Mark Berman broke the news at 6:10 CT. It's a one-year deal, and terms weren't yet made available.
It would have worried me to have the game on the line and Neil Rackers attempting a decisive field goal last season. The decision to not let him attempt a kick in overtime from the Washington 39 against the Redskins in 2010 was a pretty damning indictment of his leg power, and other than a couple of 50-yarders in the thin air of Denver, it's hard to think of a situation where Rackers was really depended on. He was a fairly reliable kicker from 45 or so in, at least until he slumped near the end of last season. I will say that, for a kicker, he's a damn good special teams tackler.
His departure leaves the Texans with no kickers. Randy Bullock fans are pumped up about this, I'm sure. It doesn't look like there is much left at the position in the free agent market, as many of the top kickers were franchised or re-upped by their current teams. Regardless, given the scope of Rackers' Texans career, I am forced to conclude the following: