Despite having the name Anger, Bucs punter Bryan Anger is all smiles today.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Saturday that the team has signed Anger multi-year contract extension. According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the extension is a five-year, $17 million deal ($3.4 million/year average). The extension makes Anger one of the five highest-paid punters in the league.
“We brought Bryan here this past offseason believing he had the ability to be one of the best punters in the NFL and he performed as such in 2016,” said General Manager Jason Licht. “We are always happy to reward our own players and thrilled to be able to keep Bryan with the Buccaneers for years to come.”
Anger (6-3, 205) joined Tampa Bay in 2016 and is in the midst of the top punting seasons in team history, setting franchise records for punts inside the 20 (32) and net punting average (42.4) – both career bests – while also establishing a new team record for gross punting average (45.9). This season he ranks fifth in the NFL in punts inside the 20 and fourth in net average.
Anger’s punting has helped the Buccaneers have one of the top punt return coverage units in the NFL, with the team allowing only 5.6 yards per punt return, the fourth-lowest mark in the league this season and the fourth-best in team history. At New Orleans in Week 16, Anger had a net average of 51.0 on three punts, the best mark by a Buccaneers punter dating back to at least 1991 (min. three punts). Facing Seattle in Week 12, Anger had four punts downed inside the 20, the most by a Buccaneers punter since 2005 (Josh Bidwell, 10/16/05 vs. Miami).
The Camarillo, California native originally entered the league as a third-round pick (70th overall) of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2012 NFL Draft. Anger, who played collegiately at California, spent his first four seasons (2012-15) with Jacksonville, before coming to Tampa Bay. Through the past five seasons, Anger has played in 79 games, punting 425 times for 19,841 yards (46.7 avg.), with 145 punts inside the 20 and a net average of 40.5. His 145 punts inside the 20 during that span are tied for the fourth-most in the NFL.
The Buccaneers still have a number of their own players who could become free agents in March, but plan to try and lock up some of them prior to free agency. Defensive tackles Akeem Spence and defensive end Will Gholston are two of the more prominent names on the list that also includes safeties Chris Conte, Bradley McDougald, along with center Joe Hawley, receiver Russell Shepard and a number of others.
– Portions of this report courtesy of the Tampa Bay Bucs communications department