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Bills work out four punters Sunday, but don’t sign any

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills need a punter. If you don’t know why, let me direct you to BuffaloRumblings.com. With that in mind, the team worked out four different players on Sunday but didn’t sign any of them.

With roster cuts looming, the Bills are keeping their options open and may not have a punter on their initial 53-man roster Tuesday.

Michael Palardy, Ty Long, Tyler Newsome, and Joseph Charlton were on this weekend’s short list, but they also reached out to other punters, as well.

Palardy makes the most sense given his connection to the Bills’ front office and coaching staff, but here’s more information.

Michael Palardy

This is the one that makes the most sense, as Palardy has two things going for him: first, he’s left-footed, which seems to be the clear preference in punters for Buffalo. Corey Bojorquez, Haack, and Araiza all kick with their left foot, and each of them won a roster spot in the last few seasons. Palardy also has connections to Buffalo’s brain trust, as he was with the Carolina Panthers from 2016-2020, meaning both head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane were there for the start of Palardy’s Panthers tenure. He spent the 2021 season punting for the Miami Dolphins, where he averaged 44.7 yards per punt with a net average of 40.1 yards per punt. While both of those averages were middling, they were significantly better than Haack’s output last season.

Ty Long

The former Los Angeles Chargers punter is right-footed, but among the current crop of free agents, he’s one of only a handful who punted enough to qualify for the league leaderboard last year. While he may have qualified, his output was putrid overall—he was dead last in net average, tying with our former punter Haack at 37.6 net yards per punt. His gross average was much higher than Haack’s at 45.5 yards per punt, but that lack of hang time cost him, as he allowed well over ten yards per punt return (323 yards on just 29 returned punts). Also, just five of his 46 punts ended in a fair catch (11%).

Tyler Newsome

The former Notre Dame punter, Newsome had stints with the Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Arizona Cardinals. He’s had some good preseason performances, but never kicked in a regular-season game.

Joseph Charlton

Charlton beat out Kaare Vedvik, a name somewhat familiar to Bills fans, to be the Panthers punter in 2020 (after Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott were in Buffalo). He was their punter until October 14, 2021, when an injury placed him on injured reserve. He’s bounced around some practice squads and was waived by the Cleveland Browns on August 22. For his career, he has an average of 45.4 yards and 29 punts inside the 20.