New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

  • On Friday, many Patriots fans were surprised to find out the team had suspended rookie cornerback Jack Jones and punter Jake Bailey. Little information is known about either suspension, but both appear to be related to issues with the players’ rehabs, as both were on IR at the time of their suspensions.

    While Jones’ agent released a statement minutes after the suspensions were announced, Bailey’s camp’s side of the story came Saturday afternoon. That’s when NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport shared a message from Doug Hendrickson, Bailey’s agent.

  • “While Jake Bailey was on IR he never missed a single treatment, meeting, or practice,” Hendrickson says. “He was hoping to come off IR to play last weekend, but Jake was informed he was being suspended these last two games. This comes as a surprise given his full participation during injury reserve.” Hendrickson closes by adding “we have filed a grievance to fight this unknown suspension.”

    That grievance will be something to watch moving forwards. Bailey’s suspension voids the guaranteed money in his contract for 2023, leaving the rest of the contract – a three year extension that he signed last summer – unguaranteed. If the Patriots wanted to move on from him, they now could do so while freeing up cap space instead of cutting into it. As for the grievance itself, that’s something that would be settled between the team and the NFLPA.

    Prior to being placed on IR after Week 9 due to a back injury, Bailey had been struggling this season. The 2020 All-Pro was averaging 35.2 net yards per punt, one of the worst numbers in the NFL. His five touchbacks were also one shy of a career high, just nine games in.

  • Aug 11, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots punter Jake Bailey (7) kicks off the ball during the first half of a preseason game against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 11, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots punter Jake Bailey (7) kicks off the ball during the first half of a preseason game against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

  • Bailey had returned to practice last month after spending the minimum four weeks on IR. However, he hadn’t been spotted at practice the last week despite being designated to return. On Friday prior to the suspensions appearing on the NFL transaction wire, Bill Belichick confirmed Bailey wouldn’t be activated this season, despite the team still having a week to do so.

    In Bailey’s absence, the Patriots have turned to 30-year-old Michael Palardy as their punter. Palardy’s first game against the Jets was promising, but he has been inconsistent since. His 36.9 net yards per punt and 23.7 percent inside-20 rate are both career lows, while his 13.2 percent touchback percentage is double his previous career high.

    The Patriots originally drafted Bailey in the fifth round of the 2019 Draft out of Stanford. He beat out Ryan Allen for the job in training camp his rookie year, then was named an All Pro in 2020. Bailey failed to duplicate that success in 2021, but still was signed to a three-year, $13.5 million contract extension during this past training camp.

  • Jake Bailey’s career stats

     
    Year Age Tm G Punts Yds Net Lng TB TB% In20 In20% Blck
    2019 22 NWE 16 81 3638 41.3 65 6 7.4% 36 44.4% 0
    2020*+ 23 NWE 16 55 2678 45.6 71 5 9.1% 31 56.4% 0
    2021 24 NWE 17 49 2316 42.0 71 6 12.2% 23 46.9% 3
    2022 25 NWE 9 37 1557 35.2 62 5 13.5% 12 32.4% 0
    Total 58 222 10189 41.5 71 22 9.9% 102 45.9% 3
    * Selected to Pro Bowl, + First-Team AP All-Pro
    Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 1/7/2023.
  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

*
*
By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.