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Retain, tag, or let walk? - Matt Haack

NFL: DEC 01 Eagles at Dolphins Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s the 2021 offseason, and that means it’s time for speculation aplenty! Before the Miami Dolphins head brass sets its eyes on the 2021 NFL Draft, the front office must first navigate the tumultuous waters of NFL free agency, a time where superstars break the bank and journeymen veterans find new homes. For the Dolphins, this period of the team’s offseason requires general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores to make tough decisions about the team’s impending free agents. Today, we’re moving onto the third article of our annual “Retain, tag, or let walk?” series here at ThePhinsider.com: what should the Dolphins do with punter Matt Haack?

Fact Check

Position: P

Age (at start of 2021 season): 27

Height/weight: 6’0”, 205 lbs

College: Arizona State

Expiring contract: One-year, $2.13 million (per spotrac.com) - UFA

2020 Review

Games played: 16

Punts: 68 (6th in the NFL)

Longest punt: 63 yards (20th)

Punts inside the 20-yard line: 26 (7th)

Average: 44.7 yards (27th)

Haack was one of the most-used punters in the NFL this season, as the Dolphins offense struggled to consistently get into scoring range. His performance on the year was about average when compared to the rest of the league. He often failed to boom kicks very far when Miami was pinned back in its own territory, though he was a consistent weapon in pinning the opponent back deep when given decent field position to work with. Haack only allowed two punts to result in touchbacks, though Miami’s special teams gunners should also be given credit for pinning punts inside the 20.

At this point in his Dolphins career, Haack is probably best known for his friendship with kicker Jason Sanders and the duo’s momentous trick play from the 2019 season, now known as the “Mountaineer Shot.” His actual punting has done little to move the needle in either direction.

2021 Outlook

Haack’s resume will likely land him a punting job somewhere in the league this offseason, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether that job is with the Dolphins. The fact that Haack has familiarity with Miami’s special teams unit and coaching staff certainly enhances the probability that he sticks around, as does his likely low price tag. Haack won’t be commanding deals along the lines of veteran greats like Thomas Morestead ($3.9 million per year) or Johnny Hekker ($3.7 million per year).

Expect Haack to net a deal somewhere in the $2.0-$2.5 million per year range, potentially for a short one-to-two year stint as he tries to prove himself to be among the league’s better legs.

Verdict

Haack has been a consistent and steady presence for the Dolphins, albeit a consistently average one. Given his familiarity with the team and the relatively low difference in cost between drafting another punter in the late rounds and signing Haack to a short-term deal, I wouldn’t be surprised if Miami brings him back. I’ll go with “Retain” on this one, though not with a great deal of conviction.

Hier’s verdict: Retain

Poll

Should the Dolphins retain P Matt Haack this offseason?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Retain
    (487 votes)
  • 19%
    Let walk
    (121 votes)
608 votes total Vote Now