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Patriots reportedly host three punters for workouts

2020 Patriots first-team All-Pro Jake Bailey has been limited with a knee injury.

South Alabama v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Three punters visited the New England Patriots for workouts on Thursday, as first shared by Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus.

New England hosted free agents Corliss Waitman, Sterling Hofrichter and Nolan Cooney.

Waitman, 26, signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted rookie in 2020 and was most recently in training camp with the Las Vegas Raiders. The South Alabama product appeared in 38 games during his collegiate career, handling kickoff and holding duties while having 58 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. He was a first-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection as a redshirt junior after averaging 45.24 yards per punt to set the school record.

Hofrichter, 24, landed in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL draft with the Atlanta Falcons. He appeared in every game as a rookie, kicking off 20 times and punting 56 times for an average of 42.5 yards per. Hofrichter reverted to Atlanta’s injured reserve in August before reaching a settlement. At Syracuse, the three-time captain and four-time Ray Guy Award candidate checked into all 49 games after redshirting in 2015, ending his Orange career No. 1 in all-time punting yardage.

Cooney, 25, signed with the New Orleans Saints as a rookie free agent in May and was waived in August. Spending five years at Syracuse, Cooney operated as the holder in 2018 and 2019 before earning third-team All-ACC honors as the top punter in 2020. The recipient of the ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award turned 74 punts into for a 44.8-yard average last fall. Of which, Cooney saw 24 punts downed inside the 20 while an additional trio became touchbacks.

The Patriots currently stand with two openings on the practice squad.

Reigning first-team All-Pro punter Jake Bailey has been listed as a limited participant in consecutive practices due to a right knee injury.