Training camp might not get underway until Sunday but the competition for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats kicking job has already begun.
Sources say the team worked out four kickers on Thursday and will bring two or three of them to training camp to compete for the position. The four are:
• Sergio Castillo who was originally signed by the Ticats in 2014, spent time with Winnipeg and Ottawa. He has six games played, 10 of 13 (76.9 per cent) on field goals, 44.6 yard average on 21 punts. Castillo was one of seven kickers the team brought to mini-camp on a contract basis last month.
• Craig Peterson, who was also at mini-camp and has several years of arena experience while also attending training camp with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2014.
• John Lunsford, a 23-year-old who played at Liberty University and was with the San Francisco 49ers in the preseason last year, appearing in three games. He has also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks.
— Brandon Kornblue (@KornblueKicking) April 4, 2017
• Ryan Hawkins, a former Northern Arizona punter and place kicker who was signed by the Toronto Argonauts last season but was released in May without having played a game.
Former Ticat Brett Maher, who handled the kicking duties in 2016, is not in the mix – at least for now. Sources say Maher, who was signed by Cleveland Browns in March but released earlier this month, is still pursuing NFL options and the Ticats reluctant to hand him the job – and an accompanying contract containing up-front money – after he struggled down the stretch last season.
Maher could become an option if the current crop of candidates struggle.