By Brady Henderson
Steven Hauschka has been among the NFL’s most reliable kickers over the last two seasons. He now has a contract that pays him like one.
Hauschka and the Seahawks have agreed to a three-year deal that’s worth $9.15 million and includes $3.35 million guaranteed, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Monday morning. According to the website Spotrac.com, the $3.05 million annual average ranks 11th among NFL kickers.
Hauschka, 28, has made 57 of 62 field-goal attempts the last two seasons, with two of those misses resulting from blocked kicks. He was the NFC’s leading scorer in 2013 when we went 33 of 35 on field goals while making all 44 of his extra-point attempts. Two of those field goals won games for Seattle, and by the end of the season coach Pete Carroll had come up with a moniker that reflected his kicker’s dependability: “Hausch-money”.
But it was more than accuracy that made Hauschka’s 2013 season stand out. One of Hauschka’s perceived shortcomings was his leg strength, which he improved over the offseason. It was evident on both longer field-goal attempts as well as kickoffs as Hauschka went 3 for 3 from beyond 50 yards and increased his touchback rate by nearly 10 percent from 2012.
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Claimed off waivers at the end of training camp in 2011, Hauschka has played the last two seasons on one-year deals. He was considered a candidate to receive the franchise tag from Seattle, which would have amounted to a one-year, $3.556 million deal. Instead, he gets a multi-year contract that gives him some security and reflects how reliable he has become.
Hauschka becomes the fifth unrestricted free agent the Seahawks have re-signed this offseason. Seven Seahawks have signed elsewhere in free agency.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.