Most fans respond to the signing of a free-agent punter with at best a shrug of the shoulders. And so it was last spring when the Buccaneers signed free agent punter Bryan Anger.
All Anger did in response, though, was spend the season performing at an eyebrow-raising level, and the Bucs further rewarded the fifth-year pro for that effort on Saturday.
After turning in one of the best seasons ever for a Bucs punter, Anger signed a five-year, $17 million contract extension that makes him one of the five highest paid punters in the league.
P Bryan Anger has signed an extension with the Buccaneers! pic.twitter.com/xO2t7iP6qX
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) December 31, 2016
“We brought Bryan here believing he had the ability to be one of the best punters in the NFL and he performed as such in 2016,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. “We are always happy to reward our own players and thrilled to be able to keep Bryan with the Buccaneers for years to come.”
A Pro Bowl alternate this year, Anger has already set two Bucs franchise records, one by dropping 32 punts down inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, the other by posting a 42.4-yard net average.
Anger also set a franchise record for gross punting average (45.9) while helping the Bucs limit opponents to just 5.6 yards per return, the fourth-lowest mark in the NFL this year.
That mark is also the fourth-lowest in team history and with one game still to play Sunday against the Panthers he also ranks fifth in the league in punts inside the 20.