The Bills have signed former Broncos punter Sam Martin to fill their vacancy at the position.
GM Brandon Beane this week provided some insight as to why the team selected the kicker over their other options.
When asked about the opportunity to sign a player who is top-five in the NFL across multiple statistical categories the GM pointed out how where the roster was at in it’s progression since he took the front office reigns was a factor.
“I mean there was a couple of vets, you guys know the other names,” Beane said while addressing the media. “You know there were some young guys too that had some strong legs but where we were- This is not 2018, you know what I mean where we’re trying to just say hey we’ll take some young guys and mold them and we got time.”
“We wanted a vet, not only as a punter, but a guy who we’ve seen hold plenty of games,” the GM continued, emphasizing the importance of holding for Tyler Bass. “You know what I said last year even with Matt Hawk’s struggles, I did not want to interrupt the flow that T-Bass was in.”
With the preseason concluded and teams around the NFL making roster cuts, position battles can sometimes benefit teams in a position like the one the Bills were in where they needed to find a player who is a good fit.
“The first thing when finding a punter right now was the timing was pretty good that it was the end of camp, we were looking at three or four battles and a couple of them came loose.”
“Sam’s a guy we actually looked at one of the years we played [The Detroit Lions] in the preseason,” Beane added. “So he was the one we targeted when we were still kind of bringing [Corey Bojorquez] up.”
That Martin was scouted and on the Bills radar previously may explain the prompt signing following the punter’s workout with the team.
And he did just that with Martin.
“We were really aware of him before, we heard Denver had a young guy that was competing with him and really good things about him. Von spoke very highly of him, some of the other guys that know him, Chad Hall, our receiver’s coach knows him through Matt Stafford. A lot of really good reviews on who Sam is.”
As for his on-field abilities, the GM sounded confident in what Martin brings to Buffalo.
“He’s a guy that is really good directional, placing the ball, especially if you’re getting at the minus 40, minus 45 over to the plus side, those areas where you’re trying to get them not only inside the 20 but you know down closer to the 10,” he explained. “Sam’s not the guy that has the hugest leg, that’s not his strength- I would say accuracy, ball placement is probably his best.”
While it’s unclear how much field time the punter will see during gameplay this season on account of the Bills fourth down efficiency and high-octane offense, he will have a chance to bring welcome stability to the position and a veteran presence to the special teams unit.
“He’s a pro, I think he’ll slide right in.”