Random Athlete Of The Day- Jose Cortez
There are a lot of random kickers out there, but Jose Cortez has always been my favorite. Overall he might have been inconsistent, but he the ex-soccer player/XFL MVP is still my guy. The El Salvador native moved out of a troubled neighborhood in San Vicente, El Salvador and made his way to Van Nuys, CA sneaking through border patrol at age 15. Cortez only started playing football his Senior year of HS and made it onto the Los Angeles Valley College team to transfer to Oregon State University where he was a honorable mention All-Pac-10 his junior year. After his Senior year he was ranked 7th out of 15 kickers by nfldraftscout.com and went undrafted. He was then signed and released by the Browns and Chargers and ended up on the New York Giants for one game. He was later moved to NFL Europe and played for the Amsterdam Admirals. At least he was Amsterdam right?
He came back to join the Giants but was sadly released. He was teased once again by the Chargers as they signed and released him for the 2nd time. Cortez then went to his 3rd league when he played for the Los Angeles Xtreme in the XFL. Cortez along with Tommy Maddox went on to win the inaugural (and final) XFL championship before they would make their glorified comebacks to the NFL. Cortez actually destroyed in the XFL leading the league in scoring, and he even ended up winning the MVP of the only championship game (great trivia answer).
In 2001 the San Francisco 49ers saw his talent and made him the starting kicker and a fan favorite. He went 18/25, hit his only 50+ yarder in his career, and finished 2nd in XPM in the league. The following season he went 18/24 and was cut, and then signed by the Washington Redskins where he went 5/8. The following seasons he signed with the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Fury in the AFL (his 4th league). Cortez became an injury replacement in 2005 and signed with the Colts, Niners, Eagles, and Cowboys. His best stint was with the Cowboys where he went 12/16 (3/6 from 40-49 yards).
After Cortez was labeled as a temporary starter or “kickoff man”, he supposedly retired to become an Oregon State Police Officer.
In his career Cortez finished with a 71.6 FG% (53/74), and an impressive 99/100 XP’s. Not too shabby for the first El Salvador born player in the NFL.