On Thursday, the National Football League named their players of the month for November. Kansas City Chiefs placekicker Harrison Butker received the nod as AFC Special Teams Player of the Month.
Now in his third season as the Chiefs placekicker, Butker missed just one field goal (on 11 attempts) and one extra point (on 13 attempts) in November, scoring 42 points. His 44-yard field goal with three seconds remaining iced a 26-23 victory against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9.
His one miss was the blocked field goal as time expired during the 35-32 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 10. The earlier attempt — the one where long-snapper James Winchester and holder Dustin Colquitt got their signals crossed and botched the snap — didn’t go in the record book as a field goal attempt because Butker didn’t kick the ball.
Taken by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL draft, Butker didn’t make their opening roster; the Panthers couldn’t decide between the rookie and veteran Graham Gano. So they put Butker on their practice squad.
But after Chiefs placekicker Cairo Santos was injured in Week 3, the Chiefs swooped in to sign him.
“I don’t know anything about this new kicker,” said Arrowhead Pride’s Joel Thorman in our article about the signing, “but presumably special teams coach Dave Toub signed off on it.”
“He was our number one guy coming out [in 2017] as a rookie, we had him ranked number one,” Toub said later. “So if we were going to draft a guy he was going to be the guy we would probably target. So we felt good about him coming out, we just weren’t looking for a kicker at that time. It’s funny how things work — and now all of a sudden we’ve got him. We’re happy with him; he’s a good kid.”
Playing in just 13 games for the Chiefs in 2017, Butker led the league in field goal attempts, set an NFL record for the most field goals made by a rookie — and a whole slew of franchise records. The following year, he led the league in extra points made and attempted. He’s been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week three times — twice in 2017, and once in 2018.
In June, the Chiefs signed Butker, then 23, to a five-year contract reportedly worth $20 million. He’s locked into the roster through the 2024 season.
And thanks to head coach Andy Reid, however long he remains with the Chiefs, he’ll be known as “Buttkicker.com.”