Buccaneers punter Michael Koenen is entering the third year of a six-year contract he signed with the team before the 2011 season, but he will have some company at the position this offseason.
The Buccaneers signed former Eagles punter Chas Henry on Wednesday, giving them a pair of punters to evaluate over the next few months. Henry was eligible to sign with the Bucs now instead of waiting until the opening of free agency because he was released by the Eagles during the season.
Henry was dropped after three games in 2012 when the Eagles decided to go with Mat McBriar as their punter. He was with Philly for all 16 games in 2011, his rookie year, and posted a net average of 36.9 yards per kick. That went up to 38.3 yards in 2012, but the disparity between his gross and net averages also rose and the team obviously felt McBriar was a better fit for the job.
The team’s release on the signing makes it clear that Henry’s arrival does not signal any great dissatisfaction with Koenen’s performance. Koenen ranked 30th in the league in net average last season and had one punt blocked, but also led the league in touchback percentage on kickoffs. He should probably be considered the favorite to hold onto the job, although there’s a lot of time between now and September for the team to change directions.