The Patriots are switching punters. ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports (via Twitter) that the team will be releasing veteran Ryan Allen. The news was first reported by Jim McBride of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). This makes rookie Jake Bailey the team’s new starting punter.
Allen joined New England as a 2013 undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech, and he proceeded to play in every game for the Patriots during his six-year stint. The 29-year-old won three Super Bowls during his time with New England, including a Super Bowl LIII performance where he placed three of his five punts inside the 20.
Despite his standout performance during the Super Bowl, Allen inked a modest one-year extension with New England this past offseason. The veteran reportedly turned down multiyear offers, as he was looking to boost his value in time for next offseason. Allen will now have to find that one-year, prove-it deal elsewhere.
The team will now turn to Bailey, a fifth-round pick out of Stanford. The 22-year-old has garnered a pair of punt attempts this preseason, averaging 49.5-yards per punt. For comparison’s sake, Allen averaged 43.8 yards on his five punts. As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets, this will be the first time in Bill Belichick’s 20 seasons with New England where he’s opted for a righty punter.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.