Sometimes roster moves can be like a dance. There is a clear ebb and flow, or a cause and effect, if you prefer that creates a cycle of players being transitioned off the active roster, as another player takes their place. In this case, Chris Blewitt and Ramiz Ahmed have more or less been dancing with each other for two seasons now. 

Ramiz Ahmed and Chris Blewitt Distant Dance Partners

Ramiz Ahmed was the original Pittsburgh Maulers kicker. He also held the longest kick in USFL history with a 61-yard field goal that would earn him an NFL roster spot in 2022. After the USFL season was over Ahmed received interest from the Green Bay Packers. The Packers were getting ready to transition away from their longtime kicker Mason Crosby. Crosby had been with the Packers since being drafted in round 6 in 2007 and was entering his 16th season with Green Bay. 

Unfortunately, Ahmed wouldn’t end up being the player to unseat Crosby. Instead, Ahmed ended up on the practice squad coming in when called upon. He was called up in two games and handled the kickoffs in week 10. His contract expired after the 2022 season but he wasn’t offered a futures deal. He sat out the 2023 season. Why he didn’t return to the Maulers, we may never know. 

Meanwhile just a few months following the release of Ahmed to head to the Packers, the Maulers were searching for a kicker. They would find this man in Chris Blewitt. Blewitt had been signed by the Browns late in 2021, signed a futures deal but was let go in May just after the 2022 USFL season had begun. He would watch as Ramiz Ahmed and several other players parlayed their USFL experience into a roster spot as he sat at home. 

This led him to the USFL in 2023 where he signed late to the Pittsburgh Maulers. The Maulers had opened the year with Nathan Hierlihy as their kicker but opted to move on after two games. In those two games, Hierlihy was 2-4 on field goals and 0-1 on extra points. In one of those games the Maulers lost by 7 with 4 points left on the board by missed kicks. Turning to Blewitt meant they had found their replacement for Ahmed. 

Essentially as Blewitt’s 2022 stint with the NFL Came to an end, Ahmed’s was just beginning. Then Blewitt found his way to the Maulers to replace Ahmed. Ahmed now returns to Spring Football to replace an injured Chris Blewitt. 

28 Years Old, Ahmed has only Played in Four Seasons Since High School

The thing about Ramiz Ahmed that should intrigue teams is the former high school soccer player is incredibly green when it comes to his football experience. Even though he graduated college in 2018, he only logged statistics in that one season. While he appeared in 1 game in 2017 he didn’t log any statistics. 

It wasn’t until 2022 with the USFL he got into a game once again. A three-year hiatus from the sport matched the time he spent off the field in college as well. He would then sit out the 2023 season as well. He has kicked in games just two years of his entire career since leaving high school, in 2018, and 2022. Could a partial season in the UFL with the team I’ve affectionately called “Team 33” be enough to get back into the NFL? 

Ahmed Deserves Another NFL Opportunity

During his professional career, Ahmed has spent time on the roster of four teams; Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Maulers, Green Bay Packers, and Birmingham Stallions. He never logged any kicks in a game with Chicago and has yet to play for Birmingham. His time with the Maulers and Packers is all we have to go on for projecting his potential at the NFL level. One thing I will say; Kicking is kicking, if you can kick in the USFL, or UFL you can kick in the NFL too. 

During his time with the Maulers Ahmed managed to convert 14 of 22 field goal attempts, and 7 of 10 on extra points. He also threw one pass for 14 yards and 1 touchdown. His kickoff touchback rate was 45.9%. Keep in mind that early in the USFL’s inaugural season they switched out the balls used to kick for the league due to complaints from kickers. This could have had a large effect on his production in week 3 when he missed 3 field goals of 40 yards or more in a 24-0 loss. 

During his stint in the USFL, he was 3-6 from 40+, and 4 of 8 from 50+ but made 58, 59, and 61-yard kicks in three consecutive weeks AFTER the changes took place. I believe the extra weight in the ball was affecting his deep accuracy. If you’ve spent most of your career kicking a lighter ball, that added weight Will unfortunately affect you. We won’t even get into the injuries the chips helped cause to kickers feet. 

In 2022 during his stint with the Packers, Ahmed proved he can be an NFL kicker. Playing in two preseason games he attempted 3 field goals converting all 3, including a long of 45 yards. He converted all 3 of his extra-point attempts and kicked off 8 times. 

If I had to guess, it’s Ahmed’s performance in the kickoff department that is keeping him from a roster currently. On his 14 total kickoffs for the Packers, he had a total of 5 touchbacks and 9 returns. Those returns totaled 264 yards or 29.3 yards per return. Not the greatest average. This isn’t a leg strength issue as mentioned before he kicked a 61-yard field goal in 2022. 

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Sam Just

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