The Bucs were bad in a lot of ways in 2014. There were many positions that needed to be upgraded on both sides of the ball, but perhaps one of the Bucs' biggest weaknesses is at punter.
Michael Koenen was one of the Bucs' big acquisitions during the 2011 off-season. The Bucs signed him at the time to a 6-year $19.5 million deal. Koenen still has two years remaining on that deal for $3.25 million each in 2015 and 2016. Currently, Koenen is the 6th highest paid punter in the NFL.
During the four seasons with the Bucs, Koenen has seen his statistics steadily decline. After averaging 45 yards per punt in 2011, Koenen's average dropped to 40 yards per punt in 2014. Koenen was also known for dropping punts inside the 20 yard line while with the Falcons. During the past four seasons he has seen his punts inside the 20 yard line fall from 24 in 2011, to 22 in 2012, to 19 in 2013, and just 17 in 2014.
Needless-to-say, Koenen has under-performed his contract as a punter.
During this off-season, the Buccaneers acquired another punter named Spencer Lanning. Lanning has spent the past two years punting for the Cleveland Browns. During those two seasons, Lanning has averaged around 44 yards per punt and had more than 25 punts downed inside the 20 yard line in each of those seasons.
Lanning is currently signed for just $585,000 for 2015. If the Bucs are looking for a younger and cheaper option at punter, keeping Lanning and releasing Koenen would save the Buccaneers more than $2.5 million. The move would likely improve the position for the Bucs as well.Subscribe to The Commish Online Podcast on iTunes!
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