It was announced yesterday that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed former Philadelphia Eagles punter Chas Henry. Henry was with the Eagles in 2011 and had a whopping average of 42.9 yards per punt. What makes it interesting is that the Buccaneers have a very good punter, Michael Koenen, signed to a 6-year 19.5 million dollar contract after they lured him away from the Atlanta Falcons.
The reason why Henry was allowed to sign before the March 12th opening of free agency is because he wasn’t part of a team’s final roster to end the 2012 season. While it isn’t uncommon that teams carry more than one special teams position guy to go into camp, it is a little strange that the Buccaneers would bring such stiff competition especially when it’s a guy like Henry who’s revered locally as he went to the University of Florida and was an All-American there no less.
The almighty question becomes, what if in the preseason, Henry has a far better performance than Koenen? What do the powers that be in Tampa Bay do when keeping them both isn’t an option at this moment due to roster limits size.
It’s similar to what happened with the Buffalo Bills last season, as they had an established and beloved punter Brian Moorman, however they brought in rookie punter Shawn Powell whom led the nation in punting distance the previous season.
Eventually the Bills went with the youth movement despite how unpopular the decision was at the time since it was made in-season (week 3) and it was likely unpopular due to the timing of the move. Long story short, this could explode badly in the face of the Buccaneers this upcoming season.