Punting was right up there as a major contributor to the Green Bay Packers poor overall Special Teams play this past season.
So it was no great surprise that the Green Bay Packers wasted little time in bringing in competition for incumbent punter Tim Masthay.
The Packers have announced that they have signed street free agent punter Cody Mandell from the University of Alabama.
Masthay ended the season as the 30th ranked punter in the league according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required) with a disappointing 37.9 net yards per punt. He has been the Packers regular punter since 2009.
Mandell had a tryout with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014, but failed to stick after punting only three times in the pre-season. He spent the year out of football before the Packers came calling this week. Before being released by the Cowboys he had averaged 43.7 yards gross and 42.0 yards net per punt.
Masthay, who had a dreadful second half this past season, has apparently come up with a case of the yips.
After the season ended Masthay admitted that he has lost confidence which contributed to his poor performance.
“(I am) not as high on confidence as I have been in the past. I’d be flat-out lying if I didn’t say that,” Masthay confessed after the regular-season finale. “And that’s just because things haven’t gone very well the second half of the season, whether it’s been the touchdown we gave up, the second block (November 16 vs. Philadelphia) we gave up , just some poor punts. It’s been kind of myriad of negative plays that I have directly contributed to.”
“I think I’ve got to regain confidence. The trick is doing that. But that’s what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to figure out how to regain confidence and be the punter that I’ve been in the past,” Masthay concluded.
Mandell is a muscular 6-foot-2 and 217 lbs who appeared in 52 career games for Coach Nick Saban, He was a walk-on in 2010 and a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s best punter as a senior. Mandell averaged an impressive 42.6 gross yards per punt for his career.
Masthay is scheduled to make $1.34M this next season and ranks as the 18th highest paid player on the Packers current payroll. Should he be replaced, the Packers would realize a net savings of $860K to their 2015 salary cap.——————
Jeff Albrecht grew up just north of Green Bay and was lucky enough to attend some of the Lombardi Era classic games, like the 1962 championship and the Ice Bowl. Jeff went on to play HS football in the Green Bay area and College ball at UW - Stevens Point. Jeff is retired but still does some writing for his local paper. Jeff is a writer with AllGreenBayPackers.com and you can follow him on twitter at @pointerjeff .