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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Fourth down? Bucs may turn to Anger this fall

22

March

The Bucs have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free-agent punter Bryan Anger, who has finished in the NFL's top 10 in punting average in three of his four NFL seasons.

Anger, 27, comes to Tampa after four years with the Jaguars, who used a third-round draft pick on him out of California in 2012. He led the NFL in punting average in 2014 (47.5 yards) and finished 10th last season at 46.3 yards, and his career average of 46.8 yards is the second-best in NFL history, behind Oakland's Shane Lechler.

His signing presents a major challenge to returning starter Jake Schum, who had drawn praise from Bucs coach Dirk Koetter last month. Statistically, Anger had much more success last season -- Schum averaged 41.9 yards per punt as a first-year player. The two are closer in net punting average (which accounts for returns and touchbacks), with Anger ranking 22nd in the NFL last year at 39.5 yards and Schum ranking 28th at 38.0 yards.

The Jaguars had opted to go in another direction, spending big to sign free-agent Brad Nortman away from Carolina with a four-year, $8.8-million deal that included $1.65-million guaranteed. The Bucs' signing is more impressive considering they reportedly beat out the Panthers, who had been interested in Anger as a replacement for Nortman.

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 2:18pm]

    

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