Panthers add competition for struggling Olindo Mare

The Carolina Panthers have not kicked Olindo Mare to the curb but they have added some competition for him.

The veteran kicker is on the hot seat and he will compete this week with Adi Kunalic, a camp leg, to be used for field goals and extra points this week. The 38-year-old Mare has missed six field goals this season and at 76 percent (19 of 25) he ranks 30th in the NFL. He had another crucial miss in Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons, missing a 36-yarder that would have given the team the lead in the fourth quarter.

Mare, who was part of the Panthers’ spending spree when he signed a $12 million, four-year contract, missed a 31-yarder as time expired in a three-point loss to the Minnesota Vikings in October. He got $4 million guaranteed from Carolina, a lot for a high-mileage kicker.

We have to make critical plays in critical situations, and there's been two games here where we haven't done it,” Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “So you just have to look at all your options.”

Replacing John Kasay hasn’t been quite as easy as the Panthers would have hoped so and now they’re juggling. We'll see which kicker winds up playing this Sunday.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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