John Kasay, who kicked for the Carolina Panthers from their inaugural 1995 season until just before the 2011 training camp, has signed another one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.
Kasay told me in an email interview Wednesday that he seriously thought about retiring this offseason. he kicked for the Saints in 2011, finishing second in the NFL with 143 total points. But he ended up deciding to kick for one more year -- if he can beat out the Saints' Garrett Hartley in training camp. It was Hartley's preseason hip injury last year that opened the door for Kasay to kick all season for the Saints.
"We had a very enjoyable season last year," Kasay wrote in his emailed responses to my questions. "Laura and the [Kasays' four] children had a great time traveling to New Orleans, and the Saints were very gracious and accommodating of our family. Also, my 17-year-old son Steven said, 'Dad, in this economy, it's not a good idea to turn down a job.' "
I asked Kasay if -- when he did eventually decide to retire -- he would consider signing a one-day contract with Carolina so he could "officially" retire as a Panther. "Yes, I would consider it," he wrote.
Kasay, who wrote a gracious thank-you note to all Panther fans shortly after the team released him and asked The Observer publish it, said he "knew nothing" about the Saints' bounty program that has caused coach Sean Payton to be suspended for the 2012 season. Cam Newton was among the four quarterbacks the Saints had put a bounty on, according to the NFL's investigation.
"It was news to me as it was to you," he wrote.
Kasay said he had that when he did eventually retire that: "My two passions are ministry and coaching. We will wait and see what the Lord has planned for us."
More from Kasay and this interview in my column for Wednesday's Observer.