Packers' Anders Carlson in a three-way kicker competition

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Given how last season ended for Anders Carlson, it was perhaps no surprise that on the final play of the Green Bay Packers' offseason program, coach Matt LaFleur put his kicker in front of the entire team to try a 54-yard field goal.

And unlike when Carlson missed a 41-yarder that would have given the Packers a seven-point lead over the San Francisco 49ers with 6:18 left in the NFC divisional playoff game, this time Carlson drilled it -- with teammates and coaches surrounding him, screaming and spraying him with water as he lined up the kick -- to end the mandatory minicamp on Wednesday.

But so did Greg Joseph right before him.

And so did Jack Podlesny right before that.

That the Packers carried all three kickers through the entire offseason suggests they haven't forgotten that Carlson's miss against the 49ers wasn't a one-off blunder. Rather, it was his 10th missed kick in the final 12 games of the season, including the playoffs.

After an intense three-way competition this spring, the Packers haven't ruled out a continuation when training camp begins on July 22.

"I think that's to be determined, quite honestly," LaFleur said at the close of minicamp. "We'll see how it all plays out, and ultimately that's going to be [GM Brian Gutekunst's] decision. But that's something that we've certainly talked about."

For now, the Packers have three kickers, which begs the age-old question about quarterbacks: If they have three, do they even have one?

Here's a look at each of the kickers and where they stand heading into the summer break:

The incumbent: Anders Carlson

The Packers handed the job to Carlson last season. They didn't even have another kicker in training camp after Gutekunst used a sixth-round pick on him.

For a while, that looked like a solid idea.

He didn't miss a kick in his first five NFL games and began drawing comparisons to his older brother, Daniel Carlson, the All-Pro kicker for the Las Vegas Raiders. He made his first seven field goals and all 10 of his extra points over the first five games. Then he started missing and missing and missing -- 13 times in all, including the playoffs. He finished 29-of-35 (82.9%) on field goals and 41-of-48 (85.4%) on extra points.

"When I looked [back] at the season ... most of my misses were kind of a similar kick miss," Carlson said. "So that's, in a sense, a good thing because it's one miss that you can correct. So, just especially when that wind's right to left, just making sure that ball doesn't come left."

Carlson finished this offseason strongly. He went 6-of-7 on field goals in the final offseason practice, with his only miss going wide right from 44 yards. Just before making the 54-yarder, he nailed kicks of 51 and 49 yards.

"I think Anders had a pretty solid spring," LaFleur said. "I think all these guys have kind of had their moments, but I think particularly of late, he's done a really nice job."

In order to stay in a good rhythm, he plans to keep kicking during the summer break, which he will spend in Nashville, Tennessee. But he won't spend any of it worrying about having to compete for his job.

"I feel good physically," Carlson said." Mentally, I'm very process-driven and focused on what I can control.

The veteran: Greg Joseph

The Packers signed Joseph on March 28 after he spent the past three seasons with the Vikings. It was one-year deal with no guaranteed money unless he makes the opening day roster. At that point, he would earn a $117,500 roster bonus with a base salary of $1.125 million.

In 67 career regular-season NFL games, he has made 82.6% of his field goals (about the same as Carlson's 81.8%) and 90.1% of his extra points (better than Carlson's 87.2%).

He hasn't kicked particularly well at Lambeau Field, making just 3 of 7 field goals in three games as a member of the Vikings.

So why sign with the Packers?

"We liked the opportunity," Joseph said.

Which presumably means he thought Carlson was on shaky ground or believed he could beat him out. Joseph finished the offseason program with a perfect day, hitting all seven of his kicks.

"I have nothing bad to say about any of them; all good guys," Joseph said of the competition. "The group all gets along great. We all learn from each other, push each other, etc."

However, when it wasn't Joseph's turn to kick, he said he doesn't keep a close eye on the other two kickers.

"I just decide to stay in my own little world because that's what I feel do best in a competition is just worrying about me," Joseph said. "I don't know how they're doing; I only know how Greg Joseph is doing, and I'm going to keep it that way."

The youngster: Jack Podlesny

Coincidentally, Podlesny had a brief competition with Joseph last summer with the Vikings, who signed him as an undrafted free agent. However, he was released shortly after the preseason opener without ever having kicked in that game.

The Packers signed him on Jan. 24, but their history goes back further. He had a workout in Green Bay in September but went unsigned by any team in 2024.

When it became a real question whether he would ever get another shot at the NFL, he began working with his uncle, sanding and staining outdoor decks. In early January, he started looking for jobs.

"Real jobs," said Podlesny, who wanted to use his degree in environmental science and public health from Georgia to work in disaster management.

Instead, he went back to kicking full time.

"But getting a call [from the Packers], knowing, OK, I've got to prepare, got to get ready, got to get in competition form, because when I got up here, it wasn't like I could work on things," he said. "It's me and two other guys. That's competition time. So just coming in here with an open mind, and whatever I can do to compete at my best, that was what I was going to do."

Podlesny also finished the offseason strong, going 6-of-7 on the final day with his only miss from 51 yards.

When asked if he had any idea what the Packers have planned for training camp, he simply said: "Nope."

When told LaFleur said it was to be determined, he said: "That's how I view it in my head."

"I feel like I kicked well," Podlesny said. "There's some days that feel better than others, but that's how it's going to be in any sport."