The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will sign punter Chase Tenpenny to a futures contract, according to Aaron Wilson and later confirmed by Greg Auman. The Bucs also announced that they signed safety Shelton Johnson to the practice squad.
Tenpenny entered the league as an undrafted free agent this year, signing with the San Diego Chargers but being cut after the preseason. During the preseason the former Nevada Wolfpack player averaged 41.7 yards per punt on three punts. Not a great average -- but with three punts, there's not all that much you can say about him. He's surprisingly bulky at 6'3", 252 lbs. though. That's linebacker size.
We'll have to see how Tenpenny does, but he should be able to offer some real competition for Michael Koenen. The Bucs punter, who's set to earn $3.25 million next year, even though he's statistically one of the very worst punters in the NFL this year. Koenen's punting performance has been declining fairly steadily for years, but this year is especially ridiculous. His 36.9 yards per punt is the second-worst mark in the NFL, while his 40.4 gross yards per punt is the worst mark in the NFL.
While Koenen continues to be outstanding on kickoffs, Patrick Murray can take over those duties. And Koenen simply isn't worth $3.25 million per year. If Tenpenny looks like even a remotely competent punter, he should bump Koenen off the roster.