Folk with the New York Jets in 2016
|Born:||November 5, 1984|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||209 lb (95 kg)|
|High school:||Notre Dame|
(Sherman Oaks, California)
|NFL Draft:||2007 / Round: 6 / Pick: 178|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Nicholas Alexander Folk (born November 5, 1984) is an American football placekicker who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football at Arizona. Folk was selected to be the NFC kicker in the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2007. He spent seven seasons with the New York Jets, ranking second on the franchise's all-time points list with 729.
Folk accepted a football scholarship from the University of Arizona. He became the starter as a sophomore. The longest field goal of his college career, a 52-yarder, came in 2005 against USC. During his sophomore year, he also took over the punting duties in addition to his kicking duties.
He earned All-Pac-10 honors as a senior. He finished his college career after making 30-of-47 field goals, 79-of-81 extra points, and 96 punts for 4,242 yards (44.2 avg.), including a long of 61 yards.
Folk was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft. Folk made the longest kick of his career to that point, a 53-yard game winner against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football during his rookie season. That season, he became the first Cowboys rookie Pro Bowl kicker, after being selected to serve as the NFC's kicker during the 2008 Pro Bowl, having gone 26-of-31 in field goal attempts and making all 53 extra points he attempted during the season. Folk also broke the Cowboys single-season record for most points by a placekicker (131) during his rookie season.
In 2008, Folk continued his strong performance as he made 91% of his kicks and once again made all of his extra point attempts. Following the 2008 season, Folk discovered a problem with his hip that the Cowboys medical personnel diagnosed in his flexor, but it did not heal with the prescribed treatment. After conducting more tests, it was discovered that Folk had a torn labrum and underwent surgery in May 2009. The normal recovery period would have had Folk returning near the beginning of training camp but Folk rushed his rehab and as a result, the hip did not heal properly.
Folk struggled as he entered his third season with the Cowboys in 2009. His performance was erratic, evidenced by the fact that he only made 64.3% of his field goals, converting 18 out of 28 opportunities. On December 19, 2009, Folk attempted a 23-yard field goal against the New Orleans Saints that would have increased the Cowboys lead to ten points; earlier in the game, he had successfully kicked a 51-yard field goal. However, he missed as the ball hit the goal post. Although the Cowboys won the game, the team lost faith in Folk and he was waived on December 21, and was replaced by Shaun Suisham.
On February 23, Folk signed a one-year contract with the New York Jets. Head coach Rex Ryan mocked Folk's early performances during the team's offseason workouts; however, after working out with special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff, who helped refine Folk's kicking technique after allowing his hip to fully recover, Folk began to gain consistency once again.
On October 11, Folk became the first Jets kicker to kick five field goals in a home game since Pat Leahy achieved the feat in 1984. Folk set a franchise record for the longest kick, making a career long kick of 56 yards against the Denver Broncos on October 17.
During the 2010 season, Folk converted 30 field goals out of 39 opportunities. During the AFC Wild Card Round against the Indianapolis Colts on January 8, 2011, Folk kicked the game-winning field goal with only 3 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter, helping the team make their second straight AFC Championship where they would end up losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
During Week 1 on September 11, 2011, Folk kicked a 50-yard field goal with 27 seconds left to give the Jets a 27-24 victory over his former team, the Dallas Cowboys. During the 2011 season, Folk converted 19 field goals out of 25 opportunities.
On March 14, Folk was re-signed by the Jets. During the 2012 season, Folk converted 21 field goals in 27 opportunities.
In the preseason, Folk beat out Billy Cundiff for the Jets' starting kicker role. In the first game of the season, with 7 seconds left in the game, Folk successfully kicked a field goal from 48 yards to give the Jets an 18-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In Week 5, Folk kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired in a 30-28 win at the Atlanta Falcons. During a AFC East rivalry game against the New England Patriots in Week 7, Folk kicked another gaming-winning field goal to give the Jets a 30-27 overtime victory.
Folk's career-high and Jets record of 23 consecutive field goals made was snapped after missing from 48 yards during a 14-37 loss against the Bills. He established a franchise record in field goal percentage (91.7), after making 33-of-36 field goal attempts and his 23 consecutive field goals also ranked second in Jets history.
Set to become a free agent during the 2014 offseason, it was announced on February 28, 2014, that the Jets had placed the franchise tag on Folk. On March 10, it was announced that Folk had signed a 4-year, $12 million contract. He led the league in field goal attempts (39), tied for third in field goals made (32), and set a franchise record for the longest field goal made at home (55-yards).
In pregame warm-ups against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he suffered a season-ending quad injury. On November 10, 2015, Folk was placed on the team's injured reserve. In eight games, he finished the year making 13 field goals out of 16 opportunities. He also made all 19 extra point attempts.
Returning from a quad injury, Folk played all 16 games in the 2016 season, making 27 field goals out of 31 opportunities. He also made 24 extra points out of 26 opportunities.
On February 23, 2017, he was released in a salary cap move. He ranks second on the franchise's all-time list in points scored (729), second in field goals made (175), and first in field goal percentage (81.3).
On March 17, 2017, Folk was signed as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to compete with the previous year's second-round draft choice Roberto Aguayo. On August 12 the Buccaneers released Aguayo after missing two kicks in a preseason game. The Buccaneers then signed Zach Hocker to compete with Folk for the starting kicking job. On September 1, the Buccaneers released Zach Hocker giving Folk the starting job. In Week 5 on Thursday Night Football, he missed three field goals, at 56, 49, and 31 yards, in a 19-14 loss to the New England Patriots. On October 9, 2017, he was placed on injured reserve with a "minor injury" classification. By rule, following his removal from the team's injured reserve, he will be released to free agency.
On February 22, 2018, Folk was released from the Buccaneers.
On January 25, 2019, Folk attended a tryout with the Chicago Bears, but was not offered a contract. The next day, he signed with the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football. Folk was the record-holder for the longest AAF field goal at 55 yards. The league ceased operations in April 2019.
Folk was born to Anton and Kathryn Folk. His father, who was born in Austria to Bavarian parents, is an accountant. Folk's mother is a pediatrician and direct descendant of William Bradford, an original Mayflower passenger and governor of the Plymouth Colony. Nick Folk and his younger brothers, Erik and Gregory, are dual citizens of the United States and Germany, where his father grew up.
Erik was the placekicker for the University of Washington Huskies football team through the 2011 season. Gregory Folk was a soccer player for UCLA and has played for Los Angeles Galaxy. The Folks' cousin, Blake Robinson, was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis when at eighteen months of age. Folk partnered with the Children's Tumor Foundation to support the research of NF.
He majored in marketing at Arizona. He is an avid soccer fan, attends New York Red Bulls games when in the area, and is a member of the Viking Army Supporters Club. He is married with twin boys and a daughter.