9. Corliss Waitman
Not content to only have a training camp battle at kicker, the Patriots carried two punters this preseason.
Bryce Baringer didn’t come with as much draft capital spent as Ryland (a sixth-round pick), but drafting a punter at all is a pretty good sign that you expect them to have a real chance at being a difference maker.
We had already signed Corliss Waitman before the draft, and it was clear that Bill was going to have these two duke it out to replace Jake Bailey (and Michael Palardy).
Much of this battle will have taken place in practice rather than the preseason games, but it’s certainly worth noting that Baringer had the better showing in live game action, and that reports out of camp are that Baringer was punting better there, too (barring a few-day slump Baringer went through but has since bounced back from).
Baringer got the start in the final preseason game and showed out (including booting a 69-yarder), and that sealed the deal.
Waitman has already played for two different teams in his first two NFL seasons, and New England will not be the next team he gets to punt for.