FanDuel - WFBC

July 30, 2011

Bucs Sign Punter to $19.5 Million Deal: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed former Atlanta Falcons punter Mike Koenen to the largest contract ever given to a player at the position. Koenen, who also is a kickoff specialist, has a $19.5 million, six-year deal with $6.5 million guaranteed.

posted by rcade to football at 02:23 PM - 11 comments

While Chris Johnson sits out because the Titans don't want to pay him more than the $800,000 he is due this year.

posted by bperk at 02:25 PM on July 30

I think it pretty funny when people who have never played professional football make fun of punters. If it's so easy and not really football, how come you aren't doing it?

posted by NoMich at 03:40 PM on July 30

The logic here, and it seems quite sound to me, is that a great punter/kicker can make your defense a lot more effective every time he touches the ball. Pay him or settle for someone who puts your defense on its heels all the time.

posted by Uncle Toby at 06:47 PM on July 30

Over the last few seasons, we have seen some pretty amazing punting; pinning the other team pretty much on the goal line. Remember when returners were supposed to let anything go inside the 10 or 15 yard line? Yeah, that's pretty much out the window with these new punters.

posted by NoMich at 06:59 PM on July 30

Well, he is getting paid like he is the best punter in the league, but he isn't (Lechler is). It's like a bit of overcompensation because the Bucs have had difficulties getting a punter. Oh, and did I mention that he played in a dome, so his stats have that going for him.

posted by bperk at 08:25 PM on July 30

The logic here, and it seems quite sound to me, is that a great punter/kicker can make your defense a lot more effective every time he touches the ball.

Except last year he was 30th in the league in average and 28th in net average. So he isn't what one would call a great punter.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 10:11 PM on July 30

Certain teams (Bucs and Bills neong the primary examples that spring to mind) are so far under the cap that this type of stuff should not be shocking. I do not think this is an accurate reflection of where the market writ large would price this player, but all that matters (for the player at least) is that there is one team willing and able to pay this price.

posted by holden at 01:00 AM on July 31

Though I feel this is a ridiculous deal for this particular punter, the money isn't as bad as it would first would seem. That's because he's also the kick specialist, which means he's being paid to be two players not one, or at least one and a half positions. (Still way too much money... just not as too much as I first thought)

posted by jagsnumberone at 03:43 AM on July 31

The stunned grog wench just fell off of Jose Gaspar's lap on the afterdeck of the end zone pirate ship.

I always wonder in deals like this: whose idea was it to pay this much more than the market would reasonably dictate? It's hard to figure a punter drawing a hard line in the sand and saying it's 19.5 mil or the highway.

So at some point, the team must have been eager and willing to go flying off the cliff of prudence and sanity into the thin air of wanton excess. Maybe the number is entirely their idea and is way beyond what the player would have been willing to take.

Poor me - I'm destined to live my entire life being value oriented. This is why I don't attend major league sporting events. I'm always amazed at how many fans get stoked at their team's high dollar acquisitions, as though running a sports franchise the same way that people conduct themselves as consumers is a good idea. The pride in having a competitive roster is entirely understandable; the satisfaction in having paid too much is idiotic.

On the other hand, you have Peyton Manning taking less money when the Colts were trying to make him the highest paid player in the league and telling the team to put the difference toward keeping the team competitive by re-signing or acquiring other players. He knows he's already making an obscene amount of money and is going to be well set regardless.

It will be interesting watching teams send their most crazed, desperate, and lowest paid players at the Bucs' gilded high dollar specialist on punt plays this season.

posted by beaverboard at 07:53 AM on July 31

Maybe Manning is being value-oriented. If the Colts spend the money they were going to give him on improving the surrounding case, he will have less chance of an injury and more chance of reaching a Super Bowl. Then, the endorsement money will continue to roll in.

posted by bperk at 08:15 AM on August 01

The logic here, and it seems quite sound to me, is that a great punter/kicker can make your defense a lot more effective every time he touches the ball.

Except last year he was 30th in the league in average and 28th in net average. So he isn't what one would call a great punter.

I don't have the stats handy; how many times was he forced to punt with scrimmage inside the opposition's 40? Coffin-corner kicks would reduce the yardage.

Plus, the Bucs' team salary last season was about $49 million. They have to spend a minimum of $108 million (90 percent of $120 million) under the new CBA. They have money to burn. You're going to see this elsewhere; look at the Eagles' signings compared to who they replaced.

posted by jjzucal at 09:04 AM on August 01

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