The Falcons confirmed the release of veteran kicker Jason Elam and long snapper Bryan Pittman Tuesday afternoon in a move that will replace two of the three key members on the team’s field goal unit.
Bryant, 34, hasn’t played in the NFL in 2009, but hit 32 of 38 kicks last year in Tampa Bay. He was 11-of-14 on field goals and 23-of-23 on extra points with the Florida Tuskers of the UFL this season. He’s played in 94 career games with the Giants, Bucs, Colts and Dolphins.
Bryant is 138-of-168 (82 percent) on field goals and 181-of-185 on extra points. He also has the second-longest game-winning field goal on record — a 62-yarder to beat the Eagles in 2006.
An 11-year veteran, Zelenka has also spent time with the Redskins and 49ers. He didn’t miss a regular season game from 2000 to 2008. The 6-foot-3, 260-pounder set a Jaguars team record with 128 consecutive games played. With Zelenka snapping, Jacksonville had its best statistical season on field goals — 26-of-32 by Josh Scobee.
Elam, 39, missed at least one kick in the last five games and is 12-of-19 for the season.
The 17-year veteran spent 29 games in his native Atlanta after signing a free agent deal before the 2008 season. He spent the first 15 years of his career in Denver where he earned three Pro Bowl invites. Elam entered the year ranked fifth in NFL history in field goals made and points.
Pittman was the team’s second long snapper of the season, joining the team Nov. 5 when Mike Schneck was placed on injured reserve.