The New Orleans Saints continue to leave no stones unturned in a search for a consistent kicker that has now produced 11 kickers in the Sean Payton era.
This time, one of the stones the Saints turned over produced a surprise.
After holding a competition between two veteran kickers throughout the summer, New Orleans has decided to go with a rookie.
The Saints have signed former Georgia State kicker Wil Lutz to the 53-man roster, according to Lutz's agent, John Perla Jr., and released veteran kicker Kai Forbath, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the move.
A sparkling recommendation from the Baltimore Ravens, the team that has coached Lutz all summer, put the kicker on New Orleans' radar.
Lutz, tried out for the Saints Monday and made 10-of-12 kicks, according to Perla, with the misses coming from 54 and 59 yards. Lutz also made a 54-yard kick. After the tryout, the rookie initially tweeted that he'd be signing a practice squad contract in New Orleans, but all of those plans changed on Tuesday.
Now, the rookie will step right into the spotlight for the Saints' season opener against Oakland Sunday. Lutz, a product of Newnan, Ga., made 31-of-46 kicks in college, including 12-of-19 as a senior, and made two of his three field goal attempts with the Baltimore Ravens.
Forbath, who took over at midseason last year and made two game-winning kicks in a 9-of-13 performance, appeared to beat out Connor Barth for the job in a close race in training camp, and the Chicago Bears signed Barth on Monday to take over for long-time kicker Robbie Gould.
Now, the Saints are going with the untested Lutz in the season opener.
-- Advocate sportswriter Nick Underhill contributed to this report.