According to Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who spoke with special teams coordinator Dave Fipp, the Philadelphia Eagles are keeping a close eye on teams that have two kickers.
Sounds like next 2 weeks will be crucial for Alex Henery. Eagles checking out teams with 2 kickers. Want to see improvement from distance.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) August 19, 2014
There are 15 teams, besides the Eagles, with 2 kickers in camps. Eagles have invested much in Henery, and do not want change for sake of it— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) August 19, 2014
ST coordinator Dave Fipp: "All options are available. ...We’ll look at everybody, and we’ll continue to watch Al."— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) August 19, 2014
This really shouldn't be unexpected. I imagine a number of Henery detractors are pleased to hear this news. Despite head coach Chip Kelly's insistence that Eagles kicker Alex Henery has been "really good" in training camp, Henery doesn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence. Henery is coming off a 2013 season where he only made 82% of his attempted field goals, which ranked 22nd in the NFL (4.33% below the NFL average of 86.47%). This lackluster performance inspired the Eagles to bring in (weak) competition for Henery this summer in the form of rookie kicker Carey Spear.
Henery may be having a good camp but his missed 47-yard attempt against the New England Patriots last week, which didn't even come close, didn't do anything to help his case moving forward. Chip Kelly noted after the Patriots game that: "You’ve got to make 47-yarders in this league."
Among the 15 teams (besides the Eagles) with 2 kickers in training camp are the New York Giants, who have Brandon McManus and Josh Brown, as well as the Buffalo Bills, who have Dan Carpenter and Dustin Hopkins. Philly.com's Jimmy Kempski recently wrote about Hopkins and his kickoff ability.
As Berman noted, the Eagles won't just get rid of Henery for the sake of parting ways. They'll want to establish know that a clear upgrade at the position is available before moving on. Given Henery's struggles and the potential surplus of kickers soon to become available after cuts, an upgrade just might be possible.