They might have accomplished their goal with the addition of undrafted Nick Rose out of Texas. The former college walk-on made 13 of 17 of field goals for the Longhorns last season, including a 53-yarder. A video he posted of an 80-yard field goal he kicked in practice went viral.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn was asked after rookie minicamp if the 22-year-old Rose could indeed compete with the soon-to-be 41-year-old Bryant, who is coming off a significant injury as he enters his eighth season with the Falcons.
"Yeah, we were pleased with him," Quinn said of Rose. "Both days [of minicamp] we kicked a lot. We tracked all the stuff and went all the way back as far as you can. He's got a strong leg. In talking to [special-teams coach] Keith Armstrong, the technique's there. We knew we were going to come and have competition at the position, and he certainly proved that he's up to the challenge."
So is Bryant, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve last season with a right quad injury, which obviously affected his ability to kick. Bryant made 14 of 18 field goals through 10 games in 2015, including a few uncharacteristic misses off the goal posts. But he made all 26 of his PATs last season after the NFL changed the rules to move the kick back to the 15-yard line. The Falcons signed veteran Shayne Graham to replace the injured Bryant at the end of the season.
Bryant, who is signed through 2017, is not thinking about retirement. He didn't need surgery on the quad.
"I'm good," Bryant said. "Rest and not pushing it was the best. I could have played the last two games but without being 100 percent mentally sure about it, I expressed and it was agreed that it wouldn't be the best for the team or myself.
"I still have some good, productive years left. I won't let one anomaly of a year get in the way of what I've done and what I'm still capable of."
Bryant is scheduled to make $2.85 million in 2016, with a $1.3 million roster bonus based on $81,250 per game active.