The Buccaneers are claiming punter Spencer Lanning off waivers today, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Typically, we’d have to wait for the NFL to confirm the transaction, in case multiple teams put in claims. However, the Bucs have the league’s top waiver priority this offseason, so Lanning will be headed to Tampa Bay.
In 2014, only two punters had more attempts than the 93 punts Lanning made for the Browns. On those 93 attempts, he averaged 44.5 yards, with a net distance of 39.2 yards per punt. Those were middle-of-the-road numbers, and the Browns took the opportunity to try to upgrade the position over the weekend when they acquired Andy Lee from the 49ers for a conditional 2017 seventh-round pick, waiving Lanning in the corresponding move.
In Tampa Bay, Lanning will compete for the starting job with incumbent punter Michael Koenen and Northern Arizona product Andy Wilder, who was signed as a free agent in March. Koenen may head into camp with the edge, but his $3.25MM cap hit, which includes no dead money, makes him vulnerable if one of the younger, cheaper players impresses.