JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars cut veteran kicker Josh Lambo on Tuesday, two days after unheralded Matt Wright hit two field goals from beyond 50 yards in the final minutes to beat Miami and end the NFL's longest losing streak in 44 years.
Lambo, the league's most accurate kicker between 2017 and 2020, was inactive the last three games while dealing with confidence issues.
“We all in athletics have dealt with that, whether it be a pitcher, whether it be a golfer, whether it be a kicker,” Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said recently.
The Jaguars (1-5) are on the hook for the remainder of Lambo's $3.5 million salary in 2021, a deal that likely includes offset language that would allow the team to recoup some money if he signs elsewhere.
Lambo missed five kicks in Jacksonville's first three games: three field goals and two extra points. He was sidelined 12 games last year with a hip injury that required surgery, but he said before Week 1 that his confidence “is as high as ever” despite also missing kicks in training camp and the preseason.
But the recurring misses apparently took their toll on Lambo, who has declined recent interview requests.
He thanked the city and the organization “from the bottom of my heart.”
“I cannot thank you enough for all of the joy I have had here in this beautiful city that I now call my home,” Lambo posted on social media. “My time as a Jaguar has come to an end, but my time here in Jacksonville and the First Coast is only just beginning.”
Without Lambo available, Jacksonville turned to Wright off the practice squad. A Pennsylvania native nicknamed “Matty Ice” during his recording-setting college career at Central Florida, Wright has made six of seven extra points and three of four field goals.
He was at his best against the Dolphins in London.
Wright, who was working as a software engineer two months ago, made all three attempts at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. He bent in a 54-yarder to tie the game with 3:40 remaining and then drilled a 53-yarder on the final play to win 23-20.
“Obviously, Matt’s earned the right to be the starting kicker,” Meyer said Monday.
Wright got a game ball after his winning kick.
“That was the first time I think I ever heard him speak and I had to make him speak louder because no one could hear what he said," Meyer said. "I honestly remember seeing him walking down the hallway (last month) and I remember (saying), ‘Who’s that again?’ Now, everybody knows who Matt is.”
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Mark Long, The Associated Press