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Brad Maynard

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Brad Maynard

Post  Pizan on Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:57 pm

Giants talking to free agent punter Brad Maynard about a reunion
Published: Thursday, July 28, 2011, 4:48 PM Updated: Thursday, July 28, 2011, 4:55 PM
Mike Garafolo/The Star-Ledger By Mike Garafolo/The Star-Ledger

Last year, when Matt Dodge's struggles included low line-drive punts and kicks that didn't go out of bounds like they were supposed to, Giants fans were screaming for the team to bring back their former punter.

Now, it looks like they just might.

But not that former punter. The other one.

The Giants are currently in discussions with 14-year-veteran Brad Maynard about coming back to the organization with which he began his career, according to someone informed of the progress of negotiations. The person requested anonymity because talks are ongoing.

It's unclear at this point if the sides are close to a deal. Maynard's agent, Chad Wiestling, could not be reached for comment.

Maynard, 37, spent his first four seasons (1997-2000) with the Giants before bolting for Chicago by signing a five-year deal the Giants were unable to match. Maynard remained with the Bears through last season and consistently managed a solid net average, though that figure dipped a bit last season to 35 yards per kick following hip surgery.

The Bears recently notified Maynard they wouldn't be bringing him back for the 2011 season and then signed former Jaguar Adam Podlesh.

The Giants are clearly looking for a more reliable presence than Dodge provided last year - the kind of consistency they were used to with Jeff Feagles. Though Dodge has a powerful leg, he was very inconsistent in 2010, and Tom Coughlin began to lose patience. The sight of Coughlin yelling at Dodge after he failed to kick the ball out of bounds on the game-winning return by the Eagles' DeSean Jackson was an image that defined the Giants' disappointing season.

Maynard is also an experienced holder for place kicks, another area in which Dodge struggled. Lawrence Tynes missed three of his first six field goals last season before Coughlin made the switch to Sage Rosenfels. But Rosenfels, because he's a quarterback, can't spend most of practice with Tynes like Feagles used to do. Adding Maynard could solve that problem.

Perhaps by the time the first training-camp practice begins on Saturday, it'll be Maynard working with Tynes.

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