The Buffalo Bills have had a pretty strong run of kickers and punters over the last decade or so. Specialists like Brian Moorman and Rian Lindell remained in place for quite some time, leading to scenarios where camp bodies came in not to challenge for jobs, but to allow for rest throughout camp.
In the latest installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we profile a punter who will have to have an incredible camp to unseat the incumbent.
Name: Cory Carter
Height/Weight: 5’11” 220 lbs.
College: Texas Southern
Draft: Signed a reserve/future contract with the Houston Texans on January 2, 2017.
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Carter signed a reserve/future contract with Buffalo on January 8, 2018. He was initially signed by Buffalo on December 5, 2017, joining the team’s practice squad. His current contract is a two-year, $1.05 million deal; he will count $480,000 against the 2018 salary cap if he makes the squad.
2017 Recap: Carter spent most of his year out of football. He was waived by the Texans in September, and was inactive until Buffalo signed him in December.
Positional outlook: Carter will battle Colton Schmidt, who had a resurgent 2017, for the punting job. Barring injury or a significant downturn in performance, this is Schmidt’s job.
2018 Offseason: Nothing has been written about the backup punter.
2018 season outlook: Carter has a very strong leg—he averaged 45 yards per punt in his collegiate career—but Schmidt is a known quantity in a league where coaches want their kicking game to be very boring (as in, everything should go exactly as it should, with no surprises). While he may have a chance to show himself off in the event that Schmidt or another punter around the league performs poorly, it’s unlikely that Carter will make the Bills’ roster in 2018. While it’s odd for a team to keep a punter on the practice squad, he was last year so we can’t rule that out again.