The Raiders re-signed a familiar foot Tuesday in Eddy Carmona, who spent training camp with Oakland last summer.
It was obvious at the time that Carmona was simply a camp leg in 2012, what with franchise career scoring leader Sebastian Janikowski coming off a Pro Bowl season. But have circumstances changed?
Janikowski, 35, is no doubt still one of the more dangerous kickers in the game, a weapon in and of himself who shares the NFL record for longest field goal with the 63-yarder he booted in Denver in 2011. But he is entering the final year of his contract and is due a base salary of $3.8 million this season, with a salary cap number of $5.1 million.
And while the notion of cutting Janikowski might be tantamount to heresy in the streets of Silver and Blackdom, it would save the Raiders some $4 million in salary cap space.
Crazy talk? Maybe, but Janikowski's running partner for 13 years is now in Houston and if the Raiders believe they can make do without Shane Lechler as their punter, why wouldn't they have the same mentality for a placekicker, while saving money at the same time.
The left-footed Carmona, 24, impressed last season, converting three of his four field-goal attempts in exhibition games, including from 53 and 56 yards, the latter coming off the baseball infield dirt at the Coliseum against Detroit. He also made four of his five extra-point attempts before being waived on Aug. 31 and did not catch on with another team.
Carmona also brought levity to camp when he hit the upright at practice in Napa four times in one day.
His path to the NFL was even more offline, so to speak. Arriving in Charleston, Ark., from Monterrey, Mexico with his parents when he was 12 years old, no one in his family spoke English. So when they heard signups for "football" were happening, the young Carmona was signed up.
Thing was, they anticipated futbol, not football.
"My parents thought it was soccer," Carmona told CSNCalifornia.com last summer. "I went out there and I was on the field and I was like, 'This is not a soccer field.'"
In junior high, he joined the futbol americano team…as its placekicker.
"That's how it started," he said. "When I went into the games, they just told me, 'Just kick the ball hard and straight.' I didn't know what to do. Kickoffs? Just kick it hard. Extra point and field goals? Just kick it through the uprights."
He became a two-time all-state high school kicker in Arkansas and kicked collegiately at Central Arkansas and Harding, converting 171 of 181 PATs (94.5 percent) and 48 of 67 field-goals (71.6 percent) in college, including a 62-yarder at Harding.
"I'm blessed to be here and learn from someone who's one of the best kickers ever," Carmona said of Janikowski last summer. "Just show them what I can do and whatever happens, I mean, happens."