The Detroit Lions have plenty of key decisions to make this offseason with their own free agents, and some shoes are finally starting to drop in-house.
Thursday, the Lions brought back another key player into the mix by tendering punter Jack Fox along with tackle Matt Nelson and fullback Jason Cabinda. While some of those other names are interesting, Fox is no doubt the headliner here with this transaction.
Last season, Fox cracked the Pro Bowl for the Lions and was elite as a punter for the team. Nelson did good work in spot duty, and Cabinda was the starting fullback which gave the team good snaps. Keeping Fox is a significant win for the Lions though, and thats true given his ability to not only punt the ball and pin teams but be a weapon on the kickoff as well.
Now, the Lions will look forward to having Fox around for the future. There’s no doubt he was a good find the previous regime had.
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Jack Fox Named Elite NFL Punter
Fox has been elite thus far for the Lions during his career, and he is far and away the best punter in the league so far according to Pro Football Focus metrics. A look at those metrics showed Fox essentially running away with the top punter title early on in the 2020 season.
Fox has shown off in a big way this season with leg strength as well as accuracy. Against the Arizona Cardinals, his punt pinned the team deep in their own territory late which allowed Detroit a chance to flip field position and eventually tie the game. Fox nearly had another superb pin, but Detroit’s gunner was ruled to have been in the end zone, nullifying the kick.
Fox has been everything a young punter needs to be, and hasn’t shown any jitters at all with the leg during his first season, which has been amazing to note. Certainly, the Lions are in good hands with Fox already which is likely the reason why the team wants him sticking around.
Jack Fox Stats
Since taking over the punting job for Sam Martin who departed in free agency last year, Fox has been nothing if not dominant. 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.
With numbers like that, it’s clear the Lions have more than likely locked down their punting position well into the future. That’s great news of course, and the hope is that Fox can continue his special teams dominance for the Lions in 2021 and beyond.