Former LSU placekicker Cole Tracy remains unsigned after his first NFL mini-camp tryout; he will next visit with the New Orleans Saints.
Tracy wrapped up his tryout with the Green Bay Packers this weekend, one of two mini-camps he told The Advocate he would be attending. Next weekend, Tracy will attend Saints mini-camp.
"Very grateful for this opportunity!" Tracy wrote on Twitter Sunday morning. "Just the beginning. Now, back down to the Bayou for next weekend!"
Very grateful for this opportunity! Just the beginning. Now, back down to the Bayou for next weekend! https://t.co/u36MbL5tW8— Cole Tracy (@cole__tracy) May 5, 2019
Tracy will join former LSU defensive back Ed Paris at the Saints mini-camp, and former defensive back Terrence Alexander will be trying out with the Minnesota Vikings on the same weekend.
Mini-camps tend to last three days, and players try out to earn a contract with the team as an undrafted free agent. If players come out of the mini-camps without a contract, that doesn't necessarily mean they won't be signed by that team later on, pending other roster movements such as injuries.
Teams also sometimes refer players to other teams. Saints placekicker Wil Lutz began his career in 2016 as an unsigned free agent with the Baltimore Ravens, in an uphill position battle against established kicker Justin Tucker. When Lutz was cut in the preseason, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh recommended him to Sean Payton.
Only two placekickers were selected in the 2019 NFL draft, both in the fifth round: Utah's Matt Gay (No. 145 overall) and Oklahoma's Austin Seibert (No. 170).
Tracy made 29 of his 33 kicks for LSU and all 42 extra points he attempted. His longest field goal of the season was an LSU-record 54 yards. Tracy began his career at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, before joining LSU as a graduate transfer.
Tracy's efforts set a new LSU record for field goals made in a season.
The Camarillo, California, native made all four of his field goal attempts in LSU's Fiesta Bowl victory over Central Florida, setting an NCAA all-divisions record with 97 career field goals. Tracy previously had won the Fred Mitchell Award in 2017 at Assumption, given annually to the nation’s top non-FBS kicker. He was also a Lou Groza Award finalist this year and earned second-team All-America and first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors.
His shining moment came in a road win over favored Auburn in the third week of LSU's season. With his team trailing much of the game, Tracy connected on a 42-yard field goal as time expired to give LSU a 22-21 victory.
While accurate when aiming at the uprights, Tracy ceded much of the kickoff duties to specialist Avery Atkins, who helped lead LSU to an NCAA-best touchback percentage in 2018.