Packers release Cundiff

Billy Cundiff

The Green Bay Packers Thursday released kicker Billy Cundiff, who was signed by the Packers as a free agent in late March. With Cundiff's release, the Packers may be poised to sign Paul Edinger to compete against Dave Rayner.

Cundiff had been battling Rayner in training camp. While Cundiff has been accurate with his kicks, his leg strength is not nearly as good as Rayner. Rayner, however, is not quite as consistent as Cundiff.

"He's a young player who has done well," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "We felt like he was ahead of Billy. This decision gives him the best opportunity to prepare and get ready the rest of the preseason."

Rayner now is the Packers' only kicker in training camp as the Packers seek a replacement for the departed Ryan Longwell. The Packers had Edinger in for a tryout a few weeks ago, but McCarthy said after practice on Thursday night that the team has no plans to sign Edinger at this time.

Rayner was used primarily as a kickoff specialist while with Indianapolis as a rookie last year. Mike Vanderjagt handled the field goal kicking. Rayner averaged 61.5 yards per kickoff on 82 attempts. He had one field goal attempt - a 59 yarder that fell short.

Rayner was released by the Colts on Dec. 20, re-signed on Feb. 15, then waived on April 3 when the team signed Adam Vinatieri.

Rayner made 8 of 10 field-goal attempts in a live drill Thursday night in practice. His misses came on back-to-back attempts from 47 and 49 yards. Punter B.J. Sander was the holder on both misses. Rayner easily made a 52-yard attempt, and from 47 yards.

Cundiff, a fifth-year pro from Drake, spent his first four NFL seasons (2002-05) with the Dallas Cowboys.

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