Panthers' Rivera to evaluate Mare after another missed kick

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Olindo Mare's future with the Carolina Panthers might be in doubt.

Coach Ron Rivera said the Panthers are considering bringing in kickers for workouts Tuesday, two days after veteran Olindo Mare missed another big field-goal attempt during a 31-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

With the Panthers trailing 24-23, Mare hooked a 36-yard field-goal try wide left with 5:16 left in the game. Two plays later, Matt Ryan connected with rookie wide receiver Julio Jones on a 75-yard touchdown pass, and the Falcons went on to beat the Panthers after erasing a 16-point halftime deficit.

It was Mare's second big miss of the season. He also missed a 31-yard field-goal attempt in the closing seconds against the Minnesota Vikings that would have sent the game into overtime.

"The timing of the misses are about as bad as they get, obviously," Rivera said. "We've got to think this through and go through the process, and make sure we make good decisions."

The Panthers (4-9) gave Mare a four-year, $12 million contract -- including a guaranteed $4 million signing bonus -- to replace veteran John Kasay, who had been with the team since its expansion season in 1995.

If the Panthers cut Mare, he would count $3 million against next year's salary cap, the remaining portion of his prorated signing bonus.

At this point, it's unclear who'll kick against the Houston Texans on Sunday. Among the more notable kickers available are Jeff Reed, a Charlotte native, and ex-PanthersShayne Graham and Rhys Lloyd. The Panthers had undrafted rookie Adi Kunalic from Nebraska in training camp but cut him before the season.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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