Though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will undoubtedly be making some changes on both offense and defense in the next two months, one of their first moves in free agency addressed the special teams.
On Wednesday, shortly after the NFL's 2019 free agency period began at 4:00 p.m. ET, the Buccaneers agreed to terms with former San Francisco 49ers punter Bradley Pinion on a four-year contract before he ultimately signed on Thursday. A fifth-round draft pick out of Clemson in 2015, Pinion has handled all of the 49ers punting duties for the past four years, compiling a gross average of 43.7 yards per kick and a net of 39.9.
Pinion replaces Bryan Anger, who was released on Tuesday after three years as the Buccaneers' punter.
Pinion brings added value to the Bucs' special teams as an outstanding kickoff man. He handled those duties in San Francisco, too, kicking off 244 times over four seasons and producing an excellent touchback rate of 71.3%. Among punters, only Atlanta's Matt Bosher and Detroit's Sam Martin kicked off more times than Pinion in that span, and Pinion's touchback percentage was better than that of both Bosher (62.4%) and Martin (57.6%).
Pinion (6-5, 240) was certainly a busy punter in San Francisco. His 334 punts led the NFL from 2015-18 and he paced the league with 100 kicks in 2016. He had only one punt blocked in those four seasons and dropped 112 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line against just 14 touchbacks. Pinion put up very consistent numbers during his tenure with the 49ers, recording a gross punting average between 43.4 and 44.0 yards per attempt each season.