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New Orleans Saints kick out Garrett Hartley

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The New Orleans Saints have finally lost patience with kicker Garrett Hartley who has been placed on the waiver wire after he missed two kicks in the defeat against the St.Louis Rams last Sunday. Cornerback Chris Carr was also waived.

Hartley has one of the lowest field goals made percentages in the league at just 73.3% and has now paid the price, with the final straw coming as the Saints fell to a 27-16 defeat against the Rams in Missouri.

Earlier in the season doubts were cast over his performance as he missed four out of six kicks, although he offered a glimpse of what he could do as he held his nerve to score the winning field goal against the San Francisco 49ers back in November.

Despite that success Saints coach Sean Payton chose to work out five replacement kickers last month, and has now acted after the sobering defeat against the Rams.

The Saints are believed to be lining a move for veteran kicker Shayne Graham, who has made 245-of-287 in his professional career which began back in 2000.

The changes couldn't come at a worse time with a winner-takes-all showdown against the Carolina Panthers this weekend. The two teams share identical records and the winner of that game will be in pole position to take top spot in the NFC South and secure a place in the divisional round.

Payton has benched left tackle Charles Brown for that game after his showing against the Rams.

When asked about what changed he would make for the crucial game against the Panthers on Monday, Payton replied: "I think we're looking closely at every element.

"I told the players today at the team meeting we're looking closely at each aspect of this team. I think in not trying to read into my answer, it's important for us to do that."

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