Kicker Steven Hauschka was so accurate last season for the Seattle Seahawks, head coach Pete Carroll labeled him “Hausch Money.”
Hauschka took some money from the house Monday.
After making 95.4 percent of his field goal attempts last season, the Seahawks signed Hauschka to a three-year contract worth a reported $9.15 million, with $3.35 million guaranteed.
Not a bad deal for a man who went to Middlebury College in Vermont to become a dentist. He began kicking his sophomore season at Middlebury after being cut from the soccer team.
Hauschka was 41-for-43 on the season, including the playoffs. He had a kick blocked and returned for a touchdown against Indianapolis. His other miss came at the end of a bad exchange and hold between the long snapper and holder against Arizona.
Outside of the block, Hauschka
was 14-for-14 from 40-plus yards.
In the NFC Championship Game, he took the rare step for a kicker of telling Carroll he didn’t think he could make a 52-yard attempt and thought the Seahawks should go for it instead. Jermaine Kearse caught a 35-yard touchdown on fourth-and-7 to give the Seahawks a 20-17 lead they would not give back to the San Francisco 49ers.
The kicker also had a memorable special teams moment when he attempted to make a tackle on Tennessee Titans kick returner Darius Reynaud. Reynaud lowered his shoulder and blasted Hauschka back, leaving him bloodied and woozy.
Hauschka, 28, will be going into his fourth season with the Seahawks. He has played six NFL seasons since going undrafted out of North Carolina State, where he transferred to from Middlebury.
He entered the league with the Minnesota Vikings in 2008. Since, he’s played for the Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, the Las Vegas Locomotives of the now-defunct United Football League, Denver Broncos, then, finally, the Seahawks in 2011.
His re-signing is an important one for the Seahawks’ run- and defense-first approach to controlling the game. In the past two seasons, 18 of the Seahawks’ 32 games have been decided by seven points or less.
The Seahawks have four remaining unrestricted free agents: tight end Kellen Davis, offensive lineman Paul McQuistan, fullback Michael Robinson and defensive end O’Brien Schofield. Schofield had a deal with the New York Giants prior to failing a physical, which put him back on the free-agent market.