New Orleans Saints Sign Irish Goalkeeper To Compete For Starting Kicker Job

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Charlie Smyth Northern Ireland New Orleans Saints

Charlie Smyth is the newest member of the New Orleans Saints after signing with the team through the International Player Pathway program. He will compete with Blake Grupe for the starting kicker job.

Smyth has never played (organized) American football before!

At 22 years old, the Northern Ireland-native grew up playing Gaelic football, which is a cross between soccer and rugby. It closely aligns to Aussie rules football.

Smyth was a goalkeeper for County Down. However, he has been illegally streaming NFL games from his home in the United Kingdom for six years and always dreamed of playing in the league.

At 18 years old, Smyth sent an email to [email protected] to try and pitch himself as a kicker. Nothing ever came from his initial contact. That changed this year!

The International Pathway expanded to include kickers for the first time and Smyth got the call.

He started kicking NFL footballs in August. It clicked almost immediately.

Smyth started banging kicks— from 60+ yards. No big deal!

Here he is from 63:

Smyth first tried out at the NFL Scouting Combine in February and made 12 of his 16 attempts. USF recently invited him to participate at its Pro Day, where he went 8-of-10 and made a kick from 60.

New Orleans loved the potential it saw in Smyth, which led the organization to invite him to the Big Easy for a private workout. Things must have gone well because it was announced on Friday that he signed with the Saints!

Because Smyth is joining the team as an IPP player, he will not count toward the 90-man offseason roster limit for training camp. That will allow the team to give him a strong look without having to worry about space.

It is likely that Smyth will ultimately be moved to the practice squad after NFL roster cuts in September. Grupe went just 28-of-35 last season so the Northern Irishman could absolutely kick his way into a job.

Either way, he is an incredible story!