Our next free agent review looks at punter Spencer Lanning.
P Spencer Lanning
Browns P Spencer Lanning also holds kicks and did kickoffs at the end of last season. Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
How and When He Joined the Reggie Hodges. The Browns re-signed Lanning in 2013, where he won the punting job.: Lanning first joined the Cleveland Browns in 2012 as a free agent, but did not make the team over P
Productivity Level Last Season: Lanning made improvements in 2014, with his net average at 39.2 yards, up from 37.9 yards in 2013. He also did kickoffs at the end of the year when K Garrett Hartley replaced K Billy Cundiff, and he's also the holder on field goals.
Lanning's net average ranked 17th in the NFL, and his overall average ranked 23rd. Both were improvements from the previous year.
Why Keeping Him Could Make Sense: Lanning got better in his second full year as a punter. The most impressive element to me for a punter is whether or not they have any flat out shanks. In 2013, I thought Lanning had a few of them. I don't recall any in 2014. Even if he's not the most powerful punter in the NFL, he's consistent.
What the Browns Should Do: The ERFA label applies to players who have less than three accrued seasons in the NFL (i.e. 6 games or more on the roster or IR). Under the ERFA rules, the Browns could offer these players a one-year tender worth $585,000, which is equivalent to the minimum salary for a player with two accrued seasons. If the Browns make an offer to an ERFA, no other team would be able to sign the player.
I think this is a no-brainer. The Browns have no desire to search for a new punter when there are more pressing issues at other positions. Lanning should receive the cheap, one-year tender.
Now it's your turn -- vote in the poll below on whether or not the team should try to re-sign Spencer Lanning!