The Miami Dolphins special teams unit contributed some appropriately “special” plays that were bright spots during an otherwise bleak 2019 season.
One key player on that unit, punter Matt Haack, was set to hit restricted free agency this offseason when the Dolphins front office slapped a restricted free agent tender on his left-footed leg. On Wednesday, Haack signed said tender and is set to make just over $2.1 million for the upcoming season.
Haack, a three-year veteran, punted 69 times over the course of last season for a total of 3,105 yards (45.0 yards per punt), and a net average of 41.1 yards per punt. His longest punt went for 64 yards and zero of Haack’s punts were blocked. 23 of Haack’s boots were pinned inside the 20-yard line and just two went for touchbacks.
The highlight of Haack’s season came in early December during a Week 13 home game against the Philadelphia Eagles. On fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, the Dolphins were trailing Philadelphia by six points with 4:44 left to go in the second quarter. Haack lined up in shotgun formation with long snapper Taybor Pepper being the only player lined up on the offensive line. With four receivers lined up wide right and five receivers lined up wide left, Haack took the snap and rolled left before lobbing a money ball into the waiting arms of kicker Jason Sanders for a touchdown.
The Dolphins would go on to beat the Eagles by a score of 37-31. Haack and Sanders’ stellar play, later dubbed “The Mountaineer Shot”, would go on to win the Bridgestone Performance Play of the Year for the 2019 season.
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