In an exclusive for our premium members last week, ColtPower reported that kickers Jose Cortez and Tyler Jones had tryouts due to Indianapolis' growing concern over the depth of rookie Dave Rayner's kickoffs.
Today, the Colts followed through by signing Cortez and releasing Rayner after the rookie out of Michigan State had another lackluster performance against the Chargers.
After watching Rayner deliver a poor performance against the Jaguars two weeks ago, Colts President Bill Polian said later in the week, "Not good enough. It’s that simple."
"When we go out there on Sunday everybody is expected to perform to a certain level," he said.
As we shared with our premium members last week, Cortez started his career in 2002 with the 49ers and has bounced around quite a bit.
The knock on Cortez has always been that his field goal accuracy is erratic. But teams have brought him in, just as the 49ers did this season, when they've had an ailing kicker or needed a kickoff specialist as the Colts do now.
Cortez spent the bulk of the 2004 season in Minnesota, but was released during the offseason. This year, he's done stints with the Cowboys and Eagles prior to his two-week fill-in assignment for the injured Joe Nedney in San Francisco. Fortunately for the Colts, Nedney got healthy and Cortez was on the market again.
Over his last 100 kickoffs dating back to the 2003 season, Cortez has averaged 64.1 yards per kickoff and 14 touchbacks during those 22 game appearances. Rayner was averaging 61.5 yards per kickoff and had just one touchback in 14 games.
Colts head coach Tony Dungy stated that if Rayner clears waivers, the Colts will likely add him to their practice squad.