With Titans’ punter Brett Kern heading into the final year of his contract, he’s agreed to terms with Tennessee to take about a $1MM pay cut, according to Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter). The longtime Titan was set to earn $3.2MM to complete a four-year, $12.65MM deal, but will now make $2.2MM for the 2022 NFL season.
The 14-year veteran is Tennessee’s longest-tenured player and has spent all but one of his NFL seasons in Tennessee after signing as an undrafted free agent in Denver. There are only four punters older than Kern and only Sam Koch, Andy Lee, and Dustin Colquitt have been in the league longer.
The three-time Pro Bowler’s play has dipped a bit in recent years. Since it’s mostly a result of the team’s offensive ability and a more successful offense can lower the number of a punter’s opportunities, it can be hard to truly gauge a punter’s play. Still, Kern pinned the opposing team’s offense inside the 20-yard line only 18 times last year, his lowest season total since his rookie season as a Bronco. He also missed three games for the second consecutive year.
Kern’s initial salary of $3.2MM would’ve made him the highest paid punter in the 2022 season (before Jake Bailey‘s proven performance bonus). With the updated number down to $2.2MM, Kern ranks as the ninth-highest paid punter for the upcoming year. The extra $1MM for Tennessee will grant them a bit of wiggle room for cap spending.
We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances (including Christian McCaffrey and Travis Etienne), players activated from the list remain on IR:
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.