12 for 12: The Unpredictable Career of Billy Cundiff

Cowboys. Buccaneers, Packers, and Saints. Falcons, Chiefs, Lions, Browns, and Ravens. Redskins, Niners, and Jets.

What do all of these teams have in common?

These are all of the pro franchises that kicker Billy Cundiff have played for in past 12 years. Yeah, that’s right. 12 teams in 12 years.

2002 NFL Draft Though he went undrafted in the NFL Draft of 2002, he was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys days later, and then won the starting job before the beginning of the season.

September 15, 2003  On a Monday Night Football matchup between the Cowboys and the Giants, Cundiff would make an NFL record seven field goals in a 35-32 overtime win. Through the whole year, he would go 23-for-29 on FG’s.

December 26, 2005  In a crucial game against the Carolina Panthers, the Cowboys’ kicker would miss two important field goals, and would be cut the same day. Cundiff’s four years in Dallas had come to an end.

February 15, 2006  Shortly into the 2007 NFL Offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to give the former Dallas kicker, but would cut him days later after the re-signing of Matt Bryant.

March 28, 2006  Two months later the Green Bay Packers signed Cundiff, who signed with their starter Dave Rayner, a position battle he would lose. The Pack cut him shortly before the regular season began on August 17.

November 26, 2006  Roughly two-and-a-half months into the 2006 NFL calendar year, the New Orleans Saints became the next to add Billy, mainly as a kickoff specialist. Let’s just say that did not work out. Cundiff was cut again.

May 4, 2007  During the ensuing offseason, the Atlanta Falcons gave Cundiff a chance to compete with their starter Matt Prater. Guess what? Billy lost that too, and was cut before the season began.

January 16, 2008  After his brief stint with Atlanta, Kansas City would become his next destination, where the Chiefs signed Cundiff to a booming two-year contract. He was cut prior to the beginning of the season.

August 26, 2009  After an injury to Jason Hansen, the Detroit Lions gave Cundiff a chance, but that chance did not last long. He was released 10 days later.

September 26, 2009  The Cleveland Browns, also with an injury that plagued their starting placekicker Phil Dawson, signed Cundiff for a temporary replacement. In Cleveland, he would hit a game-winning field goal in a win versus the Buffalo Bills. His time in the dog pound lasted longer than expected, but when you’re Billy Cundiff, it was only a month. He was cut by the Browns on November 3.

November 18, 2009  Billy Cundiff’s tenure with Baltimore was his best, as he made the Pro Bowl in 2010 and broke an NFL Record for touchbacks.On January 23, 2011, he was even rewarded with a five-year contract worth $15 million, which he gladly accepted. However, as we all know by now, a 32-yard missed field goal that would have tied the 2012 AFC Championship Game  sailed wide left ended his time with the Ravens, and he was released again.

August 28, 2012  Two days after his harsh breakup in Baltimore, the now Pro-Bowl kicker signed a deal with the Washington Redskins. But after missing a field goal in Week 2 that would have sent a game in overtime and going 1-for-4 the week later, Cundiff was cut a month later, on October 9.

January 1, 2013  On New Years Day 2013, the San Francisco 49ers looked for a placekicker to replace their struggling veteran in David Akers, and sought after you know who. He would lose the position battle to Akers, and was released seventeen days later.

This brings us to the present day, in which kicker Billy Cundiff has signed a deal with the New York Jets.

His twelfth NFL team.

In that respect, yes, he has set an NFL record. J.T. O’Sullivan is the only other player to play for more than eight, as he played for ten teams from 2002 to 2010. Cundiff’s frequent flyer miles also match that of anyone in the country. 

For now, it’s anyone’s guess where the placekicker will end up next. Just remember that if he lands in the city home to your favorite team, he probably won’t be there for long.

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