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Steelers Contemplating Cutting Embattled Kicker Jeff Reed

Jeff Reed has been one of the most reliable and accurate kickers in the NFL since joining the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2002. He hadn’t missed more than five field goal attempts in a single season since 2003, when he missed 11 of 32 attempts during his first year as the full-time kicker. Through nine games of the 2010 season, Reed has already missed seven attempts (15-of-22).

However, until Sunday night’s embarrassing loss to the New England Patriots, Reed had not yet missed a kick from inside 40 yards. And even though his miss against the Cincinnati Bengals last week almost cost the Steelers the game, it was still relatively easy to defend Reed’s shaky performance. Two of his six misses heading into Week 10 were from 50+ yards out, and two of the misses clanged off the upright, just inches from being true.

Last night though, Reed may have sealed his fate by missing a 26-yard chip shot in the third quarter. The Steelers probably weren’t going to come back and win that game under any circumstances, but their prospects all but vanished when Reed duffed his kick and pushed it wide right from just a stone’s throw away. Then after the game, Reed probably didn’t do himself any favors by blaming the turf for his miss, or calling out a segment of Steeler Nation that’s been vocally critical of Reed during his slump.

Add it all up, and one has to wonder if the Steelers’ patience with Reed is running thin. According to a recent ESPN report, the Steelers are in fact contemplating cutting Reed, who’s playing this year under the Franchise Tag.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are contemplating cutting Jeff Reed, who missed his seventh field goal of the season in Pittsburgh’s 39-26 loss to New England on Sunday night, and will bring in kickers for workouts on Tuesday, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.