Each day we look at players on the Buccaneers' roster and decide whether that player should be brought back for 2015 or if the Bucs should move on. When a team is 2-14, major changes lie on the horizon. Today, we take a look at punter Michael Koenen.
The Case to Keep:I'll be honest, I looked at statistics for about 30 minutes trying to make a case to keep Michael Koenen. I can't do it. He's horrible in most punting categories. Hell, even with kickoffs in 2014, his percentage of kickoffs for touchbacks went from 66.7% in 2012 to 59.4% in 2013 to just 44.9% in 2014. Michael Koenen's punts are short, his kickoffs are short, and he makes $3.25 million per year. The only reason to keep Koenen is because he's a nice guy and does some very good things in the community. Unfortunately, that's not enough to justify that salary for a below average punter.
The Case to Cut:Michael Koenen's average of 40.4 yards per punt ranks 34th in the NFL in 2014. If you're counting, there are only 32 teams. Koenen's net average of 37.1 yards per punt puts him at 30th in the NFL. Sometimes, a punter will have a shorter average because most of his punts were placed inside the 20 yard line. For Koenen, he had just 17 punts downed inside the 20 yard line in 2014, which ranks him at 31st in the NFL. Koenen is currently the 7th highest paid punter in the NFL making $3.25 million per season. If cut, the Bucs would get all of the $3.25 million back onto the cap.
Cut or Keep:I like Michael Koenen. He's a nice person and does some very nice things in the community, but he has got to go. He's obviously one of the worst punters in the NFL, yet he is the 7th highest paid punter in the league. As for him being a "kickoff specialist," his touchbacks were way down in 2014 when most touchbacks around the league have gone up. I just don't see the value to keep Koenen at any price, but definitely not at his $3.25 million price tag.
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