Kansas City, Mo. Apparently unsatisfied with both candidates in a summerlong kicking competition, the Kansas City Chiefs signed free agent Jay Feely to a one-year contract Monday.
Feely will join Connor Barth and Nick Novak today in what coach Herm Edwards called a "kick-off," and one of the three will be released before Thursday night's preseason finale against St. Louis.
Feely kicked well for Miami last season, converting 21 of 23 field goals and all 26 extra points. He kicked for the New York Giants in 2005-2006 and Atlanta from 2001-2004. While kicking for the Giants, Feely worked with current Chiefs special-teams coach Mike Priefer.
Kicker was a sore spot last year during a 4-12 season for the Chiefs, who admitted they made a mistake in handing the job to rookie Justin Medlock.
Feely no doubt will be given every chance to win the job. He was taking a physical Monday and unavailable for comment.
"He's been a good kicker in the league," Edwards said. "We just felt you exhaust all your avenues, and this was an avenue that came available. And so we decided to bring him in and see where it's at. Just because you're a veteran kicker doesn't mean you won't struggle."
Novak and Barth became friends while battling for the job. Each is 2-for-3, with the miss coming from beyond 40 yards. Barth is a rookie, and Novak is 13-for-20 in 16 games with Washington, Arizona and Washington.
"We'd like to have a kicker opening day, and he's our kicker," said Edwards. "We don't want every other week or two weeks, 'Oh, we've got to have a kicking contest again.' We need a guy who's going to be consistent."
Barth and Novak said they did well in Monday's 15-kick practice, but they understand the situation.
"That's been a struggling position in Kansas City for a while," Barth said. "If you don't make your kicks, they're going to wonder why. When there's a veteran kicker out there who's been in the league who's had success, why wouldn't they give him a shot?"
The Chiefs also agreed Monday to a three-year contract with tight end Michael Merritt of Central Florida, one of two seventh-round draft picks.