It looks like the New England Patriots’ punter competition is all but over: the Patriots and incumbent Jake Bailey have reached an agreement on a contract extension that will keep him around through 2025, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The four-year deal, which also impacts his 2022 salary cap number, has a total value of $13.5 million and includes $6.5 million in guarantees. Bailey is now one of the highest-paid punters in the NFL.
A fifth-round selection by the Patriots in the 2019 draft, Bailey quickly earned the team’s punter job due to strong performances in training camp and preseason. Holding a triple role as punter, holder and kickoff specialist, he has appeared in a combined 51 regular season and playoff games.
Punting 193 times for a gross average of 46.7 yards per kick and a net of 41.8, he established himself as one of the best punters in football. He also attempted a total of 235 kickoffs resulting in 124 touchbacks and an opponent return average of 20.8 yards.
Bailey was both named first-team All-Pro and voted to the Pro Bowl following his 2020 campaign. While his 2021 season did not reach that same statistical level — in part because he was dealing with a right knee injury — the Patriots apparently feel confident in his outlook.
As a result, the 25-year-old will not be going anywhere. Likewise, undrafted rookie punter Jake Julien will likely be serving as a camp leg from now on and, at best, make the practice squad as an insurance option.