While Thomas Morstead has quickly become a fan favorite with the Miami Dolphins, it appears that the prolific kicker of the “Butt Punt” may be getting replaced this offseason.
Patriots’ free-agent Pro-Bowl punter Jake Bailey is visiting today with the Miami Dolphins, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2023
Jake Bailey was drafted in 2019 by the New England Patriots. The Stanford alum was selected in the fifth round of that year’s draft, an impressive feat for any punter. Bailey had a strong first three years in the league, earning his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro season in 2020-a season in which he led the NFL in punts inside the 20-yard line.
That strong start led to an odd finish to his time in New England. Prior to the 2022 season, Bailey signed a four-year, $13.5 million contract that included $6.5 million fully guaranteed that would keep him in New England through 2025.
While struggling during the 2022 season, Bailey suffered a back injury and landed on the injured reserve list on November 19th. He returned to practice after missing the required four games but didn’t play in any of the Patriot’s final contests.
Things reached a crescendo when Bailey was placed on the reserve/suspended list in early January, reportedly due to differing opinions on his injury. The Punter would appeal New England’s decision and eventually have the suspension lifted, but the relationship with the organization had already soured at this point.
Unsurprisingly, Bailey was released at the end of the season. If he can regain his health and early career form, he may have found a perfect way to stick it to Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots organization.