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Friday, April 12, 2013

NFL Punters 2013 - Signings & Taggings

Roundup/Recap: so far the NFL off-season has seen six punters signed and one tagged.

Brian Stahovich, Buffalo Bills
"Some of the eleven players that were brought in for a tryout got a bunch of repetitions as the practice wore on. Punter Brian Stahovich and tight end Nick Provo each stood out for positive reasons. Stahovich was very impressive in distance, hang time and placement."
Ryan Quigley, New York Jets
"Former Boston College and Chicago Bears punter Ryan Quigley tweeted that he is joining the Jets. 'Proud to be apart of Jet nation! Blessed for the opportunity and all the support!' Quigley was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Bears last season and played extensively in the preseason while Adam Podlesh was sidelined with an injury. He made the Bears 53-man roster out of training camp but Podlesh was healthy enough to play in the season opener and he was released the following week."
Will Batson, Arizona Cardinals
"Signed by the Titans as a free agent on May 3, 2012...spent time in 2012 as the place-kicker for the Premier South Football League’s Rocket City Titans...also played one game as a substitute place-kicker for the Alabama Hammers Arena Football club...after his final season at the University of North Alabama in 2009, earned a tryout with the Atlanta Falcons and was invited to rookie minicamp with the Chicago Bears in April 2010 but did not sign a contract with either club...in  four seasons at North Alabama, punted 141 times for a 40.8-yard average (5,756 total yards) with 15 touchbacks and 38 punts placed inside the 20."
Jake Schum, Cleveland Browns
"Schum spent two seasons at the University at Buffalo (2010-11), where he had 119 career punts for an average of 38.7 yards. Twenty-four of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line. Schum, 24, did not play professionally last season. The 5-foot-10, 210-pound Schum transferred to Buffalo after spending one season (2007) at Buffalo State College. Schum and fellow punter Spencer Lanning will compete this offseason. The Browns have not re-signed free-agent Reggie Hodges, who spent the past three seasons with the team."
Donnie Jones, Philadelphia Eagles
"The Eagles continued their offseason roster overhaul Monday by signing veteran punter Donnie Jones to a one-year contract and releasing Mat McBriar.  Jones, 32, averaged 47.2 yards per punt for Houston (2011) with a 40.5-yard net average. He previously played for Seattle (2004), Miami (2005-06) and St. Louis (2007-11). Jones will be the fourth Eagles punter in as many seasons, following Sav Rocca (2010), Chas Henry (2011-12) and McBriar (2012)."
Shane Lechler, Houston Texans
"The Houston Texans reached a contract agreement with free agent punter Shane Lechler. Lechler, who met with the Texans on Thursday, is the NFL's all-time leader in career punting average at 47.3 yards per punt. He has piled up a ton of honors including being selected for the Pro Bowl seven times and being named First-Team All-Pro six times. Lechler, who is from East Bernard, played college football at Texas A&M. He has spent his entire NFL career with the Oakland Raiders, who took him in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL Draft."
Dustin Colquitt
Kansas City Chiefs
"Colquitt’s contract is for five years and $18.75 million, making him the highest-paid punter in the league. Colquitt had a solid 2012 season and made the AFC’s Pro Bowl team for the first time in his eight-year NFL career, but was convinced at season’s end he would never receive an offer like that from the Chiefs. So convinced, Colquitt said, that he and his family were prepared to leave Kansas City. 'I had everything packed up and we actually did leave for a little while to try to get away from it all', Colquitt said. But long discussions with Dorsey and Reid turned the tide for Colquitt. 'They just said if you’re willing to come back, they would love to have me back', Colquitt said. 'I just tried not to get emotionally tied in but I definitely crossed my fingers and said my prayers hoping I could stick around in Kansas City for a long time. I’ve been here eight years now. My kids were born here. My wife and I have made so many great memories here. It’s hard to even imagine wanting to go anywhere else'.”
Sav Rocca, Washington Redskins
"The Redskins have come to terms on a deal on a two-year contract with punter Sav Rocca, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed. The 39-year-old punter just completed his second season with the team. Financial terms of the contract, which still must be signed, weren’t immediately available. Rocca made it through last season despite playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee, and he had surgery this offseason to repair it. Despite his injury, Rocca averaged a career-high 43.9 yards per punt in 2012. Rocca, a former Australian Rules Football player, turns 40 in November but said at the end of the 2012 season that he hopes to kick another two to three seasons."
Kevin Huber, Cincinnati  Bengals
"The Bengals re-signed punter Kevin Huber and long snapper Clark Harris on Friday. Huber tweeted that his extension is for five years. Huber, a Cincinnati native, averaged a team record 46.6 yards and 42.0 on net, which was fourth in the league. He is also the team’s career leader in gross (44.0) and net (38.9) average. Last season Huber was tied for sixth in the league with a plus-26 differential between punts inside the 20 (33) and touchbacks (seven). His career ratio of 3.41-1 on inside 20 punts to touchbacks is tied with Kyle Larson for the best in team history. Huber is also the holder on field goals and extra points."
T.J. Conley, Minnesota Vikings
1/9/13 - "It's unlikely Chris Kluwe's upcoming knee surgery will cut into offseason practices. But the Minnesota Vikings are bringing in another punter, at least to develop. T.J. Conley, who sat out last season after being cut by the New York Jets, posted on Twitter that he is "extremely ex(c)ited and proud to say that I am now a member of the Minnesota Vikings!" The Vikings confirmed the signing of Conley to a reserve/future contract. Conley, 27, beat out Chris Bryan and punted in all 16 games for the Jets in 2011. The Idaho product punted 92 times and tied for 30th in gross average (42.7 yards) and ranked 20th in net (38.8). The Jets cut Conley on Sept. 4 and he was out of the NFL all year. He had tryouts with Dallas, Detroit and the Vikings, who worked him outwhile Kluwe was going through a rough patch in late October."
Chas Henry, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
"The Buccaneers have signed second-year punter Chas Henry, a former All-American at the University of Florida and the Philadelphia Eagles' punter for the entire 2011 season. The NFL's 2013 free agency period doesn't begin until March 12, but players who were not on a team roster at the end of the 2012 season are free to sign at any time.  Henry, who averaged 44.0 yards on 82 punts over 19 games with the Eagles from 2011-12, was released by Philadelphia last September. The Bucs' incumbent punter, remains with the team and is signed through the 2016 season.  He had a strong 2012 campaign, with a gross average of 45.3 yards per punt, a net average of 37.4 and a 22-6 ratio of kicks inside the 20 to touchbacks.  Koenen, who handled the team's kickoffs as well, also set a franchise single-season record with 58 touchbacks and ranked first in the NFL in touchback percentage at 68.2%. It is not uncommon for teams to carry more than one punter, kicker or long-snapper during the offseason and in training camp, even if those positions usually only take up one roster spot each during the regular season."
Spencer Lanning, Cleveland Browns
"The Browns signed free agent punter Spencer Lanning, who spent time with them in training camp last season before being waived on Aug. 26. He'll have a chance to replace Reggie Hodges, who will become a free agent March 12. Lanning (5-11, 200) also spent time with the Jaguars and Jets last season before signing with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL. He was originally signed as an undrafted rookie out of South Carolina in 2011 by the Bears. A four-year letterman with the Gamecocks (2007-10), he finished his career with 171 punts for a 42.6-yard average, with 46 inside the 20-yard line. He also served as a kicker during his final two college seasons, connecting on 34 of 44 field goal attempts and 80 of 84 PATs. Hodges, who spent four seasons with the Browns, finished 31st in the NFL with a 37.1-yard net average in 2012. A torn Achilles cost him all of 2011. Hodges placed 29 punts inside the 20, which was 11th in the NFL. He was also Phil Dawson's holder."
Blake Clingan, Detroit Lions
"For new Lions punter Blake Clingan, it was the best $500 or so he ever spent. Clingan had been clinging to hopes of punting in the NFL since his college career ended more than two years ago with little reason to believe a break was on its way. He got lost in the shuffle of the NFL lockout coming out of Central Florida two years ago, took part in an NFL regional combine in New York that spring and had a tryout with the Miami Dolphins that fall. Mostly though, Clingan kicked on weekends and after work, when his job as a medical real estate consultant for Florida Medical Space allowed. Last week, Clingan got a call from his agent, Dr. D.S. Ping, telling him the Lions were planning a workout for specialists in the coming weeks and that they’d let him try out if he was willing to foot the bill for his travel. Clingan said he wanted in and he was ready, and when Ping called back a few days later to tell him the workout was Tuesday, Clingan booked the first flight he found and packed his bags. The only punter at the workout, Clingan impressed enough Tuesday that the Lions signed him to a three-year contract to compete for their vacant punting job."
Pat McAfee, Indianapolis Colts
Last year, franchising specialists, kickers in particular, was all the rage. This year... not so much. Pat is the lone exception.
“It’s an honor to know that I’ll be a member of the Indianapolis Colts for at least another year. I love the city, I love the team and I love being a member of the community. I obviously hope to work out a long-term deal to stay here forever, but one more guaranteed year is awesome.”

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