Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that punter Jake Bailey is visiting with the Dolphins today. The Patriots drafted Bailey in the 5th round of the 2019 draft. He had an All Pro season in 2020 for New England, when he had a 48.7 gross yards per punt. In 2021, his average dipped to 47.3 yards per punt and he also had 3 punts block that year. In 2022 he only punted in 9 games before getting injured and being placed on the reserve/suspension list, and his average fell to 42.1 yards per punt. He suffered a back injury in 2022. Bailey did file a grievance over being placed on the reserve/suspended list. Per Bailey’s agent Doug Hendrickson; “While Jake Bailey was on (injured reserve), he never missed a single treatment, meeting or practice,” Hendrickson said, via NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. “He was hoping to come off IR to play last weekend, but Jake was informed he was being suspended these last two games. This comes as a surprise given his full participation during injury reserve. We have filed a grievance to fight this unknown suspension.”
According to a report from ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the suspension is in part due to “differing viewpoints on if Bailey was ready to return to game action.” Bailey was placed on IR on November 19th because of a back injury, but he recently returned to practice to open his 21-day return window. However, he was not reactivated and instead he was sent to the suspension list to end his season.
After the 2021 season, Bailey signed a 4-year deal for $13.5 million, making him one of the highest paid punters in the league. The suspension, could have impacted the guaranteed money Bailey had coming, hence why he filed the grievance. The Patriots recently cut him on March 10th of this month.
Miami Thomas Morstead as their punter last season, but he is currently a free agent and there have been no reports of Miami being in talks of re-signing him at this time.
Patriots’ free-agent Pro-Bowl punter Jake Bailey is visiting today with the Miami Dolphins, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2023