The Patriots have found their new punter shortly after moving on from a four-year contributor at the position. New England has signed Corliss Waitman, per a team announcement.
New England waived incumbent Jake Bailey earlier this month in a move which came as no surprise. Michael Palardy, who was used as Bailey’s replacement when he was injured during the year, is a pending free agent. That left the Patriots in search of a new option, and they have landed on Waitman.
The 27-year-old Belgian spent time on New England’s practice squad in 2021 before joining the Steelers. His first full season of NFL duty came in 2022 with the Broncos. Given Denver’s offensive struggles, Waitman was the busiest punter in the league, being called into action a league-leading 96 times last season. He averaged 46.6 yards per punt, and pinned 30 of his kicks inside the 20 yard line.
The Broncos decided to reunite with Riley Dixon earlier this week, however, which allowed them to move on from Waitman. The latter had been tendered as an exclusive rights free agent, but with Dixon back in the fold, that was rescinded. Waitman’s latest spell in free agency did not last long.
A left-footed punter, the South Alabama product falls in line with head coach Bill Belichick‘s preference in that regard. Now, with a new deal in place and Joe Judge set to once again coach the Patriots’ special teams, Waitman will look to repeat his 2022 performance and help the unit deliver a bounce-back performances from last year’s struggles.