Patriots trade kicker Nick Faulk to Titans, according to sources: Why New England is betting on Chad Ryland

By Diana Russini, Jeff Howe, Chad Graf and Joe Rexrode

The New England Patriots have traded kicker Nick Folk to the Tennessee Titans, according to league sources. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Sources said the Patriots would receive a 2025 seventh-round draft pick in the deal.
  • Folk, 38, spent the past four seasons with New England. He made 86.5 percent (32 of 37) of his field goal attempts in 2022.
  • New England selected Maryland kicker Chad Ryland in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

AthleticInstant Analysis:

Why did New England take action?

Bill Belichick praised Folk and the consistency he brought to a phase of the game the Patriots care about so deeply. He is still very consistent inside 45 yards.

But the Patriots suffered from a lack of a strong kicker last season, which meant the Bills couldn’t boot the ball through the end zone in Week 18 in Buffalo and returned two kicks for touchdowns. So the Patriots drafted Ryland, a rookie kicker with a strong leg, in the fourth round. He may not be as consistent as Folk, but offers more distance. The Patriots believe he is the next in a (circumstantial) line of great kickers from Adam Vinatieri to Stephen Kostkowski to Fogg. — Graf

How Folk Fits in with the Titans

The Titans have been searching aimlessly for a long-term kicking solution since letting Ryan Succop go after the 2019 season — which saw him struggle after going off IR this season — and watching him return to his best form and win a ring with Tampa Bay. Buccaneers. In Folk, the Titans settle for another short-term fix, but it’s the perfect play given this season’s “last run” theme.

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Randy Bullock has been decent over the last two seasons but not reliable over 50 yards. Faulk was 4-for-5 from beyond 50 last season and 12-for-17 in four great seasons with the Pats. The Pats are improving leg strength in moving on from Folk, but the Titans are in the process of getting him. — Rexroad

Backstory

After selecting him in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft, Folk began his career with the Dallas Cowboys and earned a Pro Bowl nod in his rookie year. He played seven seasons with the New York Jets and had a stint with the Buccaneers in 2017 before joining the Patriots. He has an 82.9 field goal percentage over his 15-year career.

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(Photo: Mark J. Repilas / USA Today)

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