The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are expected to sign former Ottawa Redblacks kicker Brett Maher, according to a CFL source.
Maher was one of four kickers the team brought to its three-day mini-camp in April, a group that included former Alabama kicker Cody Mandell, ex-Saskatchewan Roughriders punter Ray Early and ex-Ticat and Redblack Delbert Alvrado.
Mandell tweeted early this week that he had also been signed by the club.
— Cody Mandell (@CodyMandell29) May 16, 2016
Maher has played 22 games over two seasons with Ottawa, including all 18 games in their inaugural 2014 campaign where he kicked the game-winner in week three to give the new franchise their first-ever CFL win. But a torn labrum in his kicking hip was discovered just before training camp last season, leaving him in need of surgery and six months of rehab. He returned to punt in four games for Ottawa in 2015.
For his career, Maher is 25 of 37 (67.6 per cent) on field goals, going just 3-for-10 on kicks from 40 yards and beyond. He has never connected from beyond the 50, going 0-for-2.
Maher averaged 45.4 per punt in 2014, tied for second in the CFL, while his 38.0 yard net average was third. His 62.2 yard kickoff average was fifth.
His numbers at Nebraska: 83 per cent on field goals in 47 attempts, 8-for-11 between 40 and 49 yards, 6-for-11 on attempts of 50-plus yards with a long of 54. So the leg strength would appear to be there.
Mandell and Maher will be competing to replace all-star Justin Medlock, who left for Winnipeg as a free agent. Over his five CFL seasons, including three with the Ticats, Medlock has connected on 87.5 per cent of his field goal attempts, which is the best mark in CFL history.