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Bills starting over with kicking game

The Buffalo Bills are in the market for a new kicker and punter.

On Tuesday, the team announced, via its official website, that it would not be tendering an offer to restricted free-agent punter Colton Schmidt. That allows him to become an unrestricted free agent.

A day earlier, the Bills released kicker Dan Carpenter.

In 48 games with the Bills, Schmidt averaged 43.9 yards on 243 punts. He had 73 punts inside the opponent's 20 and 12 touchbacks. He had his lowest average last season, at 42.3 yards. Schmidt joined the Bills in 2014 after spending the preseason with the San Francisco 49ers, who signed him as an undrafted free agent from the University of California-Davis in 2013.

Among the replacements the Bills could be targeting at kicker are Steven Hauschka of Seattle Seahawks, free-agent-to-be Robbie Gould (with the New York Giants last season), free-agent-to-be Phil Dawson (with the 49ers last season), free-agent-to-be Cairo Santos (with the Kansas City Chiefs last season), free-agent-to-be Greg Zuerlein (with the Los Angeles Rams last season), and free agent Garrett Hartley (who last played in 2015 with the Pittsburgh Steelers and worked out for the Giants last year).

Hauschka has a tremendously strong leg, but has had issues with consistency. The Seahawks' recent acquisition of former Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh could make Hauschka expendable. If the Giants don't bring Gould back, his body of work is strong enough to attract strong interest in the open market. Dawson is 42, but remains highly efficient and effective (except on kickoffs) and his time with the Cleveland Browns more than familiarized him with the weather conditions in Western New York.

The Bills also announced Tuesday they made tender offers to two other restricted free agents, offensive guard Ryan Groy and running back Mike Gillislee.

Groy was given a right-of-first-refusal tender, while Gillislee was tendered at right of first refusal and compensation at his original draft round, which was the fifth.

In appearing in 16 games, with seven starts, Groy helped the Bills rank first in the NFL in rushing yards (2,630) and yards per carry (5.35). He began his NFL career with the Chicago Bears. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Groy also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots.

Last season, Gillislee ran for 577 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had nine receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown. Gillislee led the league by averaging 5.71 yards per carry on 101 attempts.

The Miami Dolphins made the 5-11, 219-pound Gillislee the 164th overall pick of the 2013 draft. He also spent time with the Arizona Cardinals.

Besides Schmidt, another Bills restricted free agent who won't receive a tender is defensive end IK Enemkpali, the team announced via its website.

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