With Jake Bailey struggling the New England Patriots are planning to “assess their options” at the punter position. As part of this process, a group of free agents will visit with the organization.
Jake Julien, Jordan Berry, Ty Long and Michael Palardy will be taken a closer look at in the near future, as first reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Julien is the most interesting name on that list, having spent time with the Patriots earlier this year. The rookie free agent was signed after the draft and remained with he club until midway through training camp.
After appearing in New England’s preseason opener and punting the ball twice for a 40.5-yard average, however, he was waived as part of roster cutdowns. Julien has not found another club since, despite working out with the New York Jets in mid-September.
As opposed to the ex-Patriot, the other three offer considerable experience.
Barry and Palardy both entered the NFL in 2014, with Long joining the league one year later. The trio has played for a combined 13 different teams through the years, and appeared in 237 regular season and playoff games.
No moves are imminent at this point, though, meaning that Jake Bailey remains the only punter under contract with the Patriots as of right now.
Bailey has been the team’s punter since his arrival in the fifth round of the 2019 draft. An All-Pro during his second season, who is also serving as New England’s kickoff specialist, he has not reached his previous levels of play in 2022.
Quite the opposite, actually: his campaign so far marked by inconsistent play and Bailey is ranked just 30th in the NFL with a punting average of 43.2 yards per kick, and 31st with a net of 35.4.
The Patriots moving on from the 25-year-old in favor of Julien or another free agent punter seems unlikely. New England, after all, just signed him to a three-year, $9.1 million contract extension in August.