Jaguars waive 3rd kicker of camp, clear spot for McCourt

Los Angeles Chargers place kicker James McCourt kicks a field goal during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis) (Ashley Landis, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars have another new kicker, their fourth since opening training camp last month.

The Jaguars claimed James McCourt off waivers from the Los Angeles Chargers on Tuesday and cut Ryan Santoso. They previously gave Andrew Mevis and Elliott Fry shots at the job before parting with both.

McCourt will join his new teammates in Atlanta for two days of joint practices with the Falcons. The teams wrap up the preseason Saturday at Mercedes Benz Stadium. McCourt likely will need to be impressive all week to secure the job for the Sept. 11 season opener at Washington.

Born in Ireland, McCourt set an Illinois record by making eight field goals of 50 yards or longer in three years as the team’s kicker. He connected on 18 of 23 attempts in 2021, including four from 50 yards or beyond.

Santoso missed three of four attempts from beyond 50 in three exhibitions.

“It’s impressive,” Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said of McCourt's leg strength. "That part of it we like, and obviously the consistency is what you look for in kickers. It will be a good opportunity for him. For us, just keep going through the process. We’ve still got a little bit of time before kicks mean something. It will be a good opportunity for him.”

Pederson expressed little concern for the team's unsettled kicking situation with the season a little more than two weeks away. He recalled trying out six kickers before Philadelphia's 2017 season opener and then choosing Jake Elliott, who ended up being the guy through the Super Bowl.

“I’ve had some experience there,” Pederson quipped.

Jacksonville also re-signed quarterback Jake Luton, traded for Green Bay reserve offensive lineman Cole Van Lanen and released guard Wes Martin. Van Lanen likely will make the team as a backup.

The Jaguars cut Luton last week. With starter Trevor Lawrence not expected to play against the Falcons and backup C.J. Beathard still dealing with a groin injury, Luton and E.J. Perry are expected to get the bulk of the work in the preseason finale.

The Jags also waived offensive lineman Beau Benzschawel, cornerback Shabari Davis, tight end Grayson Gunter, linebacker Wyatt Ray and receiver Lujuan Winningham, and releasing receiver Marvin Hall.

Also on Tuesday, the Jaguars traded a seventh-round pick in next year’s draft to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for offensive lineman Cole Van Lanen.

Van Lanen was a sixth-round pick of the Packers in 2021 and played one game for the team last season.

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