Nick Setta was third in the CFL in kicking points last season with 166. ((Frank Gunn/Canadian Press))

A plan by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to be more consistent in 2010 doesn't include kicker Nick Setta.

The Illinois native, a finalist for Canadian Football League rookie of the year honours in 2007, was released on Friday.

"We just felt like we needed to be more consistent at that position," head coach Marcel Bellefeuille was quoted as saying on the Tiger-Cats' official website.

Setta, 28, was third in the league in kicking points last season with 166. He connected on 38 of 50 field-goal attempts for a 76 per cent success rate, below his combined 2007-08 rate of 82 per cent.

Setta also finished second in punting with a 42.9-yard average on 121 kicks, second only to Calgary's Burke Dales.

"The consistency factor came into effect and we felt it was necessary at this point in time to release Nick," added Bellefeuille. "Hopefully he'll have an opportunity to continue looking for an opportunity to work."

Jeremy Ito, cut from the practice roster two days before the final regular season game and then hustled back into the lineup when Setta hurt himself in practice, had three field goals in his CFL debut.

"We'll also continue to look at other American kickers and possibly look at some kickers at some camps down in the States," Bellefeuille said. "We'll see what's available in the [CFL Canadian college] draft and trade as well.

"We're going to look at every possible avenue to improve our kicking game."

Prior to last season, Setta signed a multi-year deal through the 2011 campaign after he was named a CFL and East Division all-star in each of his two CFL seasons.

The Notre Dame product had unsuccessful stints in the NFL with New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Cleveland and Buffalo before signing a free-agent contract with Hamilton in December 2006.

Setta made such an impression on his new team that then-Hamilton general manager Marcel Desjardins traded starting kicker Jamie Boreham to Saskatchewan.

In 2007, Setta led the CFL in field-goal percentage (84.9), finished fifth in punting with a 44-yard average and posted the longest field goal of the season at 53 yards.