The unofficial start of free agency is later today with the beginning of the tampering period but before that starts the Buffalo Bills appear focused on making sure they bring back key players from last year’s team. One of those players is punter Sam Martin, who according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo agreed to a three-year deal worth $7.5 million.
According to Spotrac, the average salary of $2.5 million ranks 12th in the NFL among punters and just behind Los Angeles Rams’ punter Johnny Hekker.
Sam Martin is a veteran punter who joined the Buffalo Bills right before the start of the 2022 season after the team released rookie punter Matt Araiza. Prior to joining Buffalo, Martin played seven seasons with the Detriot Lions and two years with the Denver Broncos.
Even at 32 years old, Martin doesn’t appear to be slowing down with an average of 47.7 yards per punt this past year. This was the second-highest average of his career while only being asked to punt 45 times, which was the second lowest in his career.
Sam Martin’s role goes beyond punting with the Buffalo Bills
Over the past few years, the Buffalo Bills have ranked near the bottom of the league in terms of number of punts. This was due to how effective the offense has been along with how strong of a leg Tyler Bass has with his range on field goal attempts.
While the team doesn’t necessarily need an excellent punter, the responsibilities of the job go beyond that, and that is why it made sense for the Buffalo Bills to bring back Sam Martin. The reason is that Martin is the holder for Tyler Bass on field goal attempts.
This relationship is important and often overlooked but now making sure Martin is going to be Bass’ holder for the foreseeable future is a big lift for this group.