Carolina Panthers punter Michael Palardy deservedly gets new contract
The Carolina Panthers paid a key member of their special teams on Tuesday.
It is only fair that punters get paid too. After all, they are perhaps the most underappreciated players on the field and play a pivotal role over the course of a football game. Luckily, if you are Carolina Panthers punter Michael Palardy, you are entitled to a new payday.
Tuesday, the Panthers signed the University of Tennessee product to a three-year contract extension worth $7.52 million. This also includes a $2 million signing bonus per multiple media reports. As Steve Taranto of 247Sports notes, Palardy was expected to become a restricted free agent following the end of the season.
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Palardy is currently in the middle of a great season (as are many of the Panthers). He boasts a 42.7 net punting average. To this point, that is higher than his mark of 42.4 last season. Yes, I know there is still a long way to go, but that has to count for something. The Carolina Panthers have taken care of their special teams players over the past couple months. In addition to Palardy’s deal, the Panthers also gave a long-term deal to kicker Graham Gano back in March. It is safe to say they value special teams and quite frankly, they should.
The Carolina Panthers have not had to use him much at this point in the season. The team is ranked No. 25 with 643 total punting yards. He has amassed 14 punts and a touchback. In addition, Palardy’s punts have been fair-caught three times.
In this case, being low-ranked on the statistics table is not a bad thing. The offense has done their part so far and has made Palardy’s job much easier. Having been on a football team myself, I can say that punters do not want to be out there more than two or three times a game. With that being said, when they are out there, there is extra pressure on them to get the job done.
Although this may seem like a lot of dough to give a punter, the Carolina Panthers made the right move here. If a player is performing well, you pay them what they are worth. It is hard to find solid special teams players in this league, and the Panthers seem to recognize that if you have one, you better take care of him. Now, we just have to hope that Palardy can continue to play at a high level.