Browns Sign P Spencer Lanning; Legitimate Competition for Reggie Hodges?

When a team drafts a punter in the third round, the pick is going to get ridiculed and noticed league-wide. With an investment in a punter that high, it also means you don't need to keep the other punters on your roster. After the Jaguars drafted Bryan Anger on Friday, they waived veteran punter Nick Harris and youngster Spencer Lanning. The Cleveland Browns claimed Lanning off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday, according to Adam Caplan.

Lanning was originally signed by the Jaguars back in January to compete with Harris for the team's punter position. In 2011, Lanning spent some time with the Chicago Bears as their backup punter in training camp. He drew some pretty good reviews from Bears special teams coach Dave Toub:

"He hasn’t had a bad day since he’s been here," said Toub. "I’ve never seen, to be honest with you, a rookie come in and punt as consistent and powerful as he has."

There were reports that before releasing Lanning, the Bears had been hoping a team might offer a late-round draft pick for him. In Cleveland, Lanning could have a fair shot at the team's starting punter role. The new coaching staff has not seen Reggie Hodges punt for a full season, and we saw what happened when a veteran special teams player (Ryan Pontbriand) struggled last year. If Hodges isn't up-to-par after recovering from injury and Lanning looks as good as he did in Bears camp last year, the staff will have a decision to make.

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