Buffalo Bills 2023 Free Agent Profile: Punter Sam Martin

Sam Martin, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports)
Sam Martin, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Buffalo Bills would release sixth-round draft pick Matt Araiza right before the start of the regular season and would sign veteran Sam Martin to a one-year deal, who was released two days prior by the Denver Broncos.

Sam Martin is a veteran punter, who originally was a fifth round draft pick by the Detroit Lions in 2013 and played seven seasons in Detroit before signing as a free agent with the Denver Broncos and played two seasons there.

In his first three seasons, Martin was asked to punt a lot, with an average of 73 punts per season. In fact, outside of the 2017 season when he played only 10 games, Martin didn’t have fewer than 62 punts in a season prior to joining the Buffalo Bills.

This past season with the Bills, Martin averaged only 2.8 punts per game which were well below his career average of 4.3 punts per game between his time with the Lions and Broncos. While his net punt yards per punt of 42.1 was in line with his career average of 41.4 yards, he did see a notable increase in touchback percentage with the Buffalo Bills of 11.1%, an increase from his career percentage of 7.4% prior to joining the Bills.

Should the Buffalo Bills re-sign punter Sam Martin this offseason?

The punter isn’t the most critical position on the Buffalo Bills as they have been near the bottom over the past few seasons in terms of the number of punts. However, the responsibilities of the punter go beyond just handling the punt duties.

The punter is also the holder for Tyler Bass on field goals and extra point attempts. General manager Brandon Beane likely would want to keep some continuity for Bass and this should be enough reason for the Buffalo Bills to re-sign Sam Martin this offseason for at least one more season.

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