Patriots make decision on punter battle for 2023 season
The New England Patriots carried two punters during 2023 training camp, giving the impression of a competition. If there was one, we now know victor.
As first reported by Chris Price of the Boston Globe on Monday, the Patriots are cutting punter Corliss Waitman, as they work closer toward naming their initial 53-man roster. This means that rookie punter Bryce Baringer has won the Patriots’ punting job to begin the 2023 season.
Price added that Waitman, who spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons with the Steelers and Broncos, respectively, is a candidate to return to the Patriots on the practice squad. If the Pats decide to carry a punter on the P-squad at all, it would almost certainly be Waitman, if he can’t find an opportunity elsewhere.
It’s not a terribly surprising decision that the Patriots went with Baringer over Waitman. Baringer, who played four years at Michigan State, was drafted in the sixth round (192nd overall) this past April. He also proved to have a stronger leg than Waitman, anyway.
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The Patriots still have a decision to make at the other kicking specialist job, which is … kicker. It’s another case of rookie vs. veteran, where fourth-round trade-up selection Chad Ryland is a virtual lock to stay in New England, whether on the roster or redshirted via injured reserve. Nick Folk, however, has also been good enough to be worthy of keeping his roster spot.
Kicker has been a real battle, and a much closer one than punter. So, it’s one of the top storylines to watch for over the next day or so, as Bill Belichick makes his final decisions on the Patriots’ roster cuts.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.