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.