Patriots sign punter Corliss Waitman to fill vacancy after moving on from Jake Bailey

Waitman played in all 17 games with Denver last season, punting a league-high 96 times.

Denver Broncos punter Corliss Waitman (17) punts during an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C.
Corliss Waitman averaged 46.6 yards per punt last season with the Broncos. Rusty Jones / AP

Less than a week after former punter Jake Bailey signed a contract with the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots might have found his replacement. 

The Patriots signed punter Corliss Waitman, the team announced Thursday. Waitman played in all 17 games with the Denver Broncos last season, punting a league-high 96 times on a lackluster offense.

The left-footed special-teamer averaged 46.6 yards per punt, with a net average of 41.5 yards. Thirty of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line.

Waitman, 27, was originally handed an exclusive right tender from the Broncos earlier this offseason, but Denver rescinded that offer after signing veteran Riley Dixon on Tuesday.


The Patriots moved quickly to scoop up Waitman in free agency, given New England’s punting woes last season with both Bailey and Michael Palardy.

Once an area of strength on the Patriots’ usually stout special-teams squads, Bailey went from an All-Pro selection in 2020 to getting cut less than a year after inking a lucrative four-year contract with New England in August 2022.

Bailey was limited to just nine games in 2022, missing the final eight games of the regular season due to a back injury.

Before he landed on the shelf, Bailey was statistically one of the worst punters in the league. Bailey’s 35.3-yard net average was worst in the NFL last season, while his 42.1-yard gross was second-to-last among those with at least 10 punts.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on