When the New England Patriots drafted punter Jake Bailey last April, it all but spelled the end of Ryan Allen’s time in the organization. Despite putting up a valiant fight, Allen was cut at the end of the preseason and Bailey took over in a similar way to his predecessor.
It has been over two months since Allen was cut loose and he has finally been signed by a team in need. On Monday, that team, the Atlanta Falcons, made their second special teams adjustment in less than a week by signing the free agent, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Allen will be the Falcons fourth punter this season. Starter Matt Bosher was placed on injured reserve less than a month ago after he led the league in average yards per punt (45.9) in six games. His replacements, Matt Wile and Kasey Redfern, did not pan out for the Falcons.
Wile still ranks second behind Bosher averaging 44.7 yards per punt this season while Redfern struggled, averaging just 36.9 yards a punt. It’s a big addition for the Falcons to add a punter who has averaged 45.3 yards per punt in his career. Allen joins fellow former Patriots Younghoe Koo, Adrian Clayborn, and Kenjon Barner in the Falcons locker room.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
Allen’s Accolades Speak Volumes
Ryan Allen has been racking up the awards since his days as a college punter at Louisiana Tech. He was the first college punter in history to win consecutive Ray Guy Awards in 2011 and 2012, earning first-team All-American honors the same seasons.
He averaged 48 yards a punt as a senior and was a member of Louisana Tech’s 2012 team that ranked as high as 18th in the AP Poll and led the nation in total offense.
As a Patriot, Allen handled holding duties on field goals and extra points and was consistently near the top of the list for highest average yards per punt. Following a decline in 2017, he rebounded well in 2018 after beating out Corey Bojorquez for the starting job in training camp.
Allen set a Super Bowl record with a 64-yard punt against the Seattle Seahawks in 2015, a record snapped by his former college teammate Johnny Hekker last year.
Atlanta’s Special Teams’ Turnover
The Falcons have struggled in many departments this season but special teams has been burdened more by injury than anything.
With kickers Blair Walsh and Giorgio Tavecchio struggling in the preseason, the Falcons elected to cut both kickers and resign their franchise’s all-time leading scorer, 44-year-old Matt Bryant. After he missed two field goals in Week 8, he too was gone and Younghoe Koo was the fourth man to occupy the spot this year.
Allen marks the eighth specialist signed by the Falcons during the 2019 season, a position the team can’t seem to figure out at all. But Atlanta, perhaps, has struck gold with Allen who wants to prove he can still play in the NFL.