It’s been quiet on the Atlanta Falcons front since the end of mandatory minicamp, but we all knew that silence couldn’t last forever. We finally got a morsel of interesting news on Thursday afternoon, as the team signed veteran punter Bradley Pinion to a one-year deal, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. To make room on the roster, Atlanta waived fellow punter Dom Maggio.
Pinion began his career with the San Francisco 49ers as a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He then signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent in 2019, spending three years with the team. After an injury-plagued 2021 season which resulted in a down year for Pinion, statistically, the Bucs drafted Georgia punter Jake Camarda in the fourth round—which led to Pinion’s release last week. Pinion has been a well above-average punter throughout his career, with a healthy 43.7 yards per punt average. He also handled kickoffs, posting an impressive 78.9% career touchback rate.
Pinion will join an interesting punter competition in Atlanta. With Maggio—who managed to stick around for a few years on the practice squad—gone, 2022 UDFA Seth Vernon is the only other punter on the roster. While I’m excited about Vernon’s potential, he’ll have a much tougher time defeating an experienced (and good) veteran like Pinion. At this point, I’d definitely call Pinion the favorite to win the battle.
Pinion is just 28 years old and still has plenty of good years left. If he impresses and wins the job in training camp, it’s possible he could stick around for quite awhile in Atlanta. Unlike Thomas Morstead—who, despite his exceptional play, is clearly in the twilight of his career at 36—Pinion could potentially become the long-term punter of the future for the Falcons. That would be a welcome development, as it would save Atlanta from having to dedicate a Day 3 pick to the position or continue to churn the UDFA waters in search of a diamond-in-the-rough.
Join us in welcoming Bradley Pinion to Atlanta.