Lions Strike Record-Setting Contract With Special Teams Weapon: Report

Riley Patterson

Getty Riley Patterson shakes hands with Jack Fox in 2022.

The Detroit Lions always look to improve their team the best way they can, especially in-season. Once again that was proven to be the case with news of a surprise contract extension coming down.

While many have wondered about whether or not the team would be negotiating with T.J. Hockenson, the Lions struck to keep another key member of their team around that was quietly pushing toward restricted free agency in punter Jack Fox.

As NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported, the Lions are signing Fox to make him the highest paid punter in the NFL. The three-year deal is reportedly worth $3.77 million and $7.5 guaranteed according to Rapoport.

“Sources: Lions P Jack Fox is signing a 3-year extension that makes him the NFL’s highest paid punter at $3.775M per year with $7.5M guaranteed. Fox would’ve been an RFA after 2022, now rewarded by DET. Deal done by powerhouse Athletes First which reps the 2 highest paid punters,” Rapoport tweeted.

Keeping Fox around is a huge win for the Lions, even if the team hasn’t used him a ton this season and has gone for plenty of fourth downs, sometimes to their detriment.

At the very least, the Lions have the top punter in the league locked down and available for their use into the future. That’s a big win for the franchise and a smart move for the team.

Fox Showing off Many Talents for Lions

Fox has been quietly dominating when on the field with the Lions in his career. Just last season, Fox made some history for what he was able to do in terms of a few key statistics in punting.

As the Lions official account tweeted, Fox is showing himself to be one of the best young punters in football, given that he has the best gross average and net average of a player through the first 75 punts of their career.

Not only is Fox a great punter, he’s also been proven to be a weapon on special teams with multiple fake punts and throws. Just this season, Fox showed his arm off again with a fantastic strike.

That continued a theme from last season, where Fox was shown as dependable with lots of big passes to his credit such as this one in Atlanta:

Fox has been a revelation for the Lions since he came into the league in 2020, and with stats and plays like this, it’s easy to see how he might be the punter with the best future in the league.

Fox’s Career Stats & Highlights

Since taking over the punting job for Sam Martin who departed in free agency a few offseasons back, Fox has been nothing if not dominant thus far, leading to his new deal.

He had to win an early season battle to earn the right to punt in camp, but once he overcame that, the sky was truthfully the limit. Early last season, Fox had some impressive numbers to his credit including a 50.3 average which was first in the NFL at the time. Additionally, Fox’s long punt of 67 yards early on was tied for the fifth-longest boot in the league, and he’s pinned 19 punts inside the 20 yard line, good for a tie in the sixth position in terms of his peer group at that stage.

Here’s a look back at some of Fox’s best work in 2020 with the Lions:

Jack Fox September highlightsWatch all of Jack Fox's punts from the month of September, in which he was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month. Lions are back in action against the New Orleans Saints Sunday 10/4 at 1pm on FOX. Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: More Lions NFL Action: #DetroitLions #Lions #NFL…2020-10-02T00:00:00Z

With numbers and plays like that, it’s clear the Lions have more than likely locked down their punting position well into the future. Now that the contract is done, it’s officially true for the team.

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