The Redskins signed Neil Rackers (2006 finalist for Fox Sports sexiest NFL player) on Tuesday to compete with Graham Gano who had recently undergone back surgery. Rackers played the last one and a half years for the Houston Texans where he made 87% of field goals he attempted.
In the final game of the season last year, Graham Gano fractured two bones in his lower back after a missed tackle (Wash Post). However, Gano is supposed to be ready to go for OTAs. Shanahan likes to have some kicking competition in training camp which was evidenced last year when he signed Shane Graham in the offseason in. Gano ended up beating out Graham for the job (well Shane kinda just sucked).
Rackers will probably give Gano a little bit more of a push than Graham did. At one point in time Rackers was the best kicker in the game, and a fantasy killer. That was back in 2005 when he hit 40/42 FG including six 50 yarders. However, despite Rackers' numbers dropping (80% career), they are still better than Gano (74% career).
Although Graham Gano does hold the record for longest field goal in Washington Redskins history...He had 4 50+ yarders last year (same as Rackers). Rackers also played for Houston who plays in a dome-ish stadium. This looks like advantage Rackers...
The kicking job should be an interesting one to watch this offseason. Shanny seems to like Gano because he is young with a strong leg, but Rackers is a proven vet. It will surely be a relief to be watching Gano vs Rackers instead of Rex vs Beck.