Punter AndyLee will be sticking around Arizona for the foreseeable future. The team announced today that they’ve signed the veteran to a two-year extension. The deal will kick in next season and last through the 2020 campaign.
The 35-year-old joined the Cardinals last offseason and proceeded to play in all 16 games for his new organization. The three-time Pro Bowler ended up averaging 47.3-yards per punt, a franchise record. He also managed to land 29 punts inside the 20 yard line, his highest total since 2012. Predictably, Lee also served as the holder for field goals and extra points.
The 2004 sixth-round pick spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the 49ers before brief stints with the Browns and Panthers. His 1,135 career punts ranks 12th all-time, and he should easily secure the sixth spot on that list by the end of the 2018 season. His 52,666 punting yards already ranks in the top-five on the all-time list. The veteran has missed only seven regular season games during his career, with all of those coming during his stint with Carolina.
Punter AndyLee will remain with the Cardinals for another season. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that Arizona has exercised the veteran’s option for 2018. Previous reports indicated that the punter will earn a $1MM base salary for next season.
Lee joined the Cardinals last September after being released by the Panthers. The 35-year-old made a name for himself in San Francisco, where he earned three Pro Bowl births during his 11-year tenure with the organization. He bounced between the Browns and Panthers before landing in Arizona for the 2017 season. After being limited to only nine games in 2016, Lee appeared in all 16 games last year, averaging 47.3 yards per punt. He also landed 29 punts inside the 20, his best total since 2012.
Earlier this week, the Cardinals re-signed long snapper AaronBrewer, meaning they’ll be retaining their their special teams core (which includes kicker PhilDawson) in 2018.
Holdouts typically do not drag into the regular season, but Donald has less to lose by staying home than other players fighting for a better contract. Le’Veon Bell, in theory, could have tried to drum up leverage by taking his holdout into mid-September, but that would have meant forfeiting game checks on a $12.12MM salary. Donald, meanwhile, is slated to earn only a fraction of that – $3.225MM – in 2017.
While we wait to see how things shake out between Donald and the Rams, let’s take a look at more news from the NFC:
The Falcons converted $1MM of center Alex Mack‘s $6.75MM base salary into a signing bonus, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The move creates $750K of cap space for the current season. The Falcons are near the bottom of the league in terms of cap space this year, so every bit of flexibility will help them.
The Cardinals worked out running back Darius Victor on Wednesday, according to Herbie Teope of the Times-Picayune (Twitter link), who reports Victor has another audition on Monday for an unidentified team. Victor, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Towson, spent a month on New Orleans’ roster earlier this summer but was waived during final cutdowns. He’s likely a candidate for Arizona’s practice squad.
September 4th, 2017 at 12:12pm CST by Zachary Links
The Cardinals announced that they have signed punter Andy Lee to a two-year deal. Naturally, punter Matt Wile has been released to make room.
Arizona expressed interest in Lee last week when he was being shopped by the Panthers. The Cardinals were unwilling to take on his old contract and give up draft considerations for him, but they were happy to snag him as a free agent.
The Cardinals’ 14.7 points of lost field position was second only to the Jets last year, per Football Outsiders. The 35-year-old Lee might be able to help in that regard if he can stay healthy. He was limited to nine games last year, but his net average of 40.4 yards per punt would have ranked 14th among all punters if he saw enough action to qualify.
In related moves, the Cardinals placed running back T.J. Logan on IR and added outside linebackers Bryson Albright and Obum Gwacham to the practice squad.
The Bears were the only team to put in a waiver claim on kicker Roberto Aguayo after the Bucs cut him earlier this month, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. They’re now likely going to be stuck paying his $428K guarantee after releasing him on Saturday.
The Redskins are still trying to tradeDerek Carrier and two teams are currently in on him, Mike Jones of The Washington Post (on Twitter) hears. It’s still unclear how likely a deal is, however. Carrier has been traded before – he came to Washington via a swap with San Francisco in 2015.
The Cardinals will pursue punter Andy Leenow that he is a free agent, Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic tweets. This makes sense considering that the Cardinals considered trading for him this week prior to his release.
The Packers are looking for help at offensive guard, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle hears (Twitter link). Green Bay will start Lane Taylor and Jahri Evans at the two guard spots.
September 2nd, 2017 at 9:32am CST by Zachary Links
The Panthers have cut punter Andy Lee, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer tweets. That means they’ll be keeping Michael Palardy as their punter for the coming season.
The Panthers tried to orchestrate a trade for Lee this week, but it was to no avail. This time last year, the Panthers gave up a fourth-round choice to acquire him from the Browns. When he was dangled, the Cardinals expressed some level of interest, but it sounds like the Panthers could not extract anything of value from them. The Cardinals seem like a prime candidate to sign the veteran now that he’s a free agent.
The Panthers already paid $1MM to Lee in March and they’re still on the hook for his $1MM fully guaranteed base salary, so the punter will be on the books for $2MM in all, as Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. It’s not a good look for Carolina, but the “new” regime did not want to saddle themselves with Dave Gettleman‘s mistake.
Lee, 35, had a perfect attendance record in the regular season through ten seasons before a hamstring injury sidelined him in 2016. For his career, he has three Pro Bowl nods and three first-team All-Pro selections.
Arizona sifted through multiple punters in 2016, as Ryan Quigley, Drew Butler, and Matt Wile all played in at least three games for the club. Wile is the only one still left on the roster, and he’s competing with Richie Leone — who signed a futures deal with the Cardinals in January — for the starting job. As a team, Arizona was putrid on punts last season, as their 14.7 points of lost field position was second only to the Jets, per Football Outsiders.
Lee, 35, only played in nine games for the Panthers in 2016 before going down with a season-ending hamstring injury. In that time, he punted 36 times with a net average of 40.4 yards, which would have ranked 14th among NFL punters had Lee seen enough action to qualify. After reworking his contract earlier this year, Lee is signed for $1MM in 2017 and $1.1MM in 2018.
Carolina gave up a fourth-round selection for Lee at this time last year, but the club is highly unlikely to reap such compensation now that Lee is coming off injury. As Jurecki notes, the Cardinals are projected to earn four compensatory picks in 2018, meaning they could have extra ammunition with which to play.
Carolina acquired Lee and a seventh-round pick from the Browns prior to last season in exchange for a fourth-rounder and fellow punter Kasey Redfern. Lee, 35, appeared in nine games for the Panthers before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury. That health issue allowed Michael Palardy — now Lee’s primary competition — to punt for Carolina over the season’s final seven contests. Prior to going down, Lee averaged 49.1 yards per punt on 39 attempts.
Lee agreed to a pay reduction earlier this year, per the Observer scribes. Originally scheduled to earn $3.43MM and $4.13MM over the next two seasons, Lee will now bring in just $1MM in 2017 and $1.1MM in 2018. That could make Lee relatively attractive on the trade market, especially for clubs in need of specialist but are strapped for cap space.
Butker, meanwhile, is also part of an open competition, as he’s vying to become the Panthers’ placekicker alongside veteran Graham Gano. A seventh-round pick this spring, Butker has only attempted one field goal this preseason, a 51-yarder that he converted successfully. He’s also made both of his extra point tries. For his part, Gano is three-for-four on preseason field goals, and made only 78.9% of his attempts during the 2017 campaign.
The Panthers have placed punter Andy Lee on the injured reserve, reports Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). The team has signed punter Michael Palardy to replace the Pro Bowler.
Lee injured his hamstring during Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs, and the veteran punter was unable to take the field during the second half. The 34-year-old has continued his reign as one of the league’s top punters in 2016. He’s averaged 49.1 yards per punt this season, good for fourth in the NFL. The 13-year veteran has also placed 18 punts inside the 20-yard line.
A sixth-round pick back in 2004, Lee was traded from the Browns to the Panthers this past offseason. Prior to his one season in Cleveland, Lee played 11 seasons with the 49ers, where he was a three-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro. Lee currently ranks ninth all-time in punting yards and 19th in punts. The punter is signed through the 2018 season.
Palardy, a 2014 undrafted free agent out of Tennessee, was in contention for the Panthers’ punting gig before the team traded for Lee. The 24-year-old has also spent time with the Browns and Falcons.