The Miami Dolphins all-time leader in career field goal percentage will be kicking in Miami for the foreseeable future. Jason Sanders, who made 36-of-39 field goals in his 2020 first-team All-Pro campaign, signed a contract extension with the team Tuesday. The deal extends his contract through the 2026 season.
Sanders tied Olindo Mare's franchise record, set in 1999, with 144 points scored last season. Successful on 92.3 percent of his field goals in 2020, Sanders raised his career percentage to 86.5 percent, both best in franchise history (min. 50 career attempts).
Sanders' 20 made field goals from 40-plus yards led the league and he was a perfect 36-of-36 on extra points and made a pair of game-winning field goals in 2020. His 50-yard kick in the final minute proved to be the difference in the Dolphins' 34-31 Week 9 win in Arizona and his 44-yard boot with one second on the clock gave Miami its 10th win of the season in the Week 16 victory in Las Vegas.
Originally a seventh-round pick out of New Mexico in 2018, Sanders has served as the Dolphins place kicker for all 48 games in his career. Head Coach Brian Flores and Special Teams Coordinator Danny Crossman both applauded Sanders' process and dedication to the craft when asked about the All-Pro's big season back in October.
"He's been great the entire year and he's taking real ownership of his craft," Flores said. "Every kick is important to him, whether it's kickoff or if it's a field goal. This guy is as diligent about his craft as anyone I've been around. I'm really happy for him and the success he's had individually, but it's really helped us as a team."
"What people don't realize is the time that Jason spends before we ever even get on the field, both from a mental and a physical standpoint, and making sure that when we go onto the field, that he's ready to perform at a high level," Crossman said. "And he performs and executes in practice. We call them mini-games. So every time your opportunities come up, whether it be in practice and/or a game, as a specialist, there's not a lot of outside influences as there are with some other positions."
When fielding questions about the strong season he was having, Sanders maintained his focus on the next game, the next kick. Finally, once the season ended, he allowed himself to reflect on his record-setting season.
“I think I did a good job taking it one week at a time this year and I think that’s what helped me perform well week after week. A lot of it goes back to the offseason, just work you put in the offseason. I have a tremendous support staff on me. I have a great family, friends, kicking coach, coaching staff here. It makes your job a lot easier when you know the confidence your coaches have in you when you to go out and kick the ball. Then you’ve got Matt (Haack) and Blake (Ferguson) that I’ve been preaching all year, too, as well.”