You want to talk about a funny-money contract? The Bucs have signed former Atlanta Falcons punter Mike Koenen to a six year-19.5 million dollar contract. I’m just going to let that resonate for a second that the Buccaneers spent nearly 20 million dollars, 6.5 of it guaranteed, on the services of a punter.
And don’t get me wrong, punting is one of the most underrated phases of the game and the Bucs had certainly had problems in the punting department the last year. But I still can’t ever remember a kicker or a punter, getting a 20 million dollar contract. That, in my opinion, borders on the absurd. Ryan Malone last season average 41.5 yards per kick, and Koenen just 40.7, for his career Koenen has a 42 yard average. Now I’m not arguing Koenen isn’t more proven or that he’s not an upgrade at the position.
What I’m wondering is was it an upgrade worth 20 mil?
The Bucs clearly wanted to shore up their special teams and finding a kicker they could rely on was incredibly important, the team also needs to spend some money. I just don’t think this was the smartest way to do it. Lately I’ve been very high on the moves made by Mark Dominik and the Bucs front office, the first couple of days of this new off-season went extremely well. This move I don’t agree with. I don’t see why that kind of money was necessary on a punter, that is far from a standard contract and it’s not like he’s by-and-far the league’s best. To put this in perspective for you, the Bucs punter will now make more over his contract than both of the team’s starting defensive ends (Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers) combined will over theirs.
Hopefully Mark Dominik knows far better than I do (which is likely). But at first glance this contract seems a bit strange…