JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Josh Lambo has been the NFL’s most accurate kicker over the past four seasons and ranks third in NFL history in field goal percentage.
He’s also in a fight for his job.
Lambo vs. Aldrick Rosas -- a former Pro Bowler with the New York Giants -- could be the most hotly contested battle of training camp. It’s certainly the most surprising considering just how good Lambo has been since he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in October 2017.
“We’ve got two guys and they’re both very good kickers and they’re competing to win the job,” newly hired special teams coordinator Nick Sorensen said. “That’s what we’re doing every day and they’ve both been great.”
Rarely do proven veterans playing at a high level have to compete to keep their job when salary isn’t a factor, but that’s the case with Lambo. He has made 95 percent of his field goal attempts with the Jaguars (76 of 80) and has actually missed more PATs (six). That’s the best field goal percentage in the NFL in that span, even better than Baltimore’s Justin Tucker (91.8 percent), who was a two-time Pro Bowler and twice a first-team All-Pro during the same span.
Lambo -- who holds the Jaguars records for consecutive field goals made (24), longest field goal (59 yards, tied with Josh Scobee), and field goal percentage (95.0) -- has also missed just once on his 13 attempts of 50 or more yards.
Tucker is widely considered the league’s best kicker, and he’s currently atop the NFL’s career field goal percentage list (90.7 percent). He’s also a four-time first-team All-Pro, four-time Pro Bowler and he’s missed only four PATs in his nine seasons.
Despite those impressive numbers, Lambo could be looking for work at the end of August if he can’t beat out Rosas, who was one of six kickers the team used last season after Lambo went down with a serious hip injury and missed 12 games. The team was unsure of how well Lambo would be able to recover, so in March they re-signed Rosas, who made 8-of-11 field goal attempts and was perfect on nine PATs in six games with the Jaguars.
Rosas actually has a leg up on Lambo in one category: He’s made the Pro Bowl. That came in 2018 with the Giants when he made 32-of-33 field goal attempts, including 4 of 5 from 50-plus yards. Lambo, however, has the better career success rate (88.9 percent from 2015-20; Rosas is 81.4 percent from 2017-20).
Rosas, who also served a four-game suspension last season for violating the league’s code of conduct policy stemming from a hit-and-run accident he had last June (which caused the Giants to release him), and Lambo each made 58-yard field goal attempts during the first day of mandatory minicamp on Monday. Lambo went 5-for-5 and Rosas 4-for-5 from various distances in Tuesday’s field goal period.
The head-to-head battle will continue for a while, and with the NFL’s new schedule of roster cutdown dates it could go until the final preseason game.
“We have two guys that are very talented kickers, very talented,” coach Urban Meyer said. “And we’re going to do that quite often before we have to make a decision.”