Make it nine. The number now stands at nine free agents signed this off-season for the Cleveland Browns. The brown-and-orange inked free agent punter, Jake Schum to a contract on Thursday evening.
Who is Schum, you ask? Schum is now the second punter on the roster and will compete with Spencer Lanning for the starting job. Restricted free agent Reggie Hodges is not expected to be retained by the team. Are we really talking about a punter competition in 2013?
The 24-year-old Schum played collegiate ball at the University of Buffalo. There, in his senior year he averaged 39 yards per punt. Schum was not drafted last season and has never played a game in the NFL, but supposedly impressed the Browns enough at the UB pro day that he was given a contract.
Lanning was brought in last year as a fallback if Hodges wasn’t fully recovered from his injury from the previous season that kept him out the entire year. The Browns elected to sign a veteran that year named Brad Maynard. The Browns ended up near the bottom of the league in just about every punting category in 2011. Lanning would get six career punts in the 2012 exhibition games. He has never punted when it counted.
It’s hard to believe that punter is yet another concern for the Browns. And while everyone will be watching the quarterback battle between Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell, there will be another battle going on in special teams between Schum and Lanning.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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