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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs lock up punter Bryan Anger with 5-year extension

31

December

The Bucs got a head start on free agency in 2017 with a New Year's Eve signing of punter Bryan Anger to a five-year contract extension.

The $17-million contract averages $3.4-million per year, making the 28-year-old Anger one of the top five highest-paid punters in the NFL. P>Anger was one of the key pieces to the Bucs' turnaround this season. After signing a one-year with the Bucs as a free agent from Jacksonville, he has ranked fourth in the league with a net average of 42.4 yards with 32 punts inside the 20, both career highs and a franchise record.

"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," general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. "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’s ability enabled the Bucs to field one of the best punt coverage units in the league, allowing only 5.6 yards per punt return, ranking fourth in the NFL and the fourth best in team history.

Last week in a 31-24 loss at New Orleans, Anger had a net average of 51 yards on three punts. Against Seattle in Week 12, he enabled the Bucs to down four punts inside the 20, the most in a game since Josh Bidwell in 2005.

Anger entered the league as a third-round pick out of California by Jacksonville, where he spent his first four seasons. Following Anger's signing, the Bucs now enter free agency with 17 unrestricted free agents.

[Last modified: Saturday, December 31, 2016 12:36pm]

    

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