Broncos bring back former punter, send Corliss Waitman packing
The Denver Broncos have brought back one of their former punters and it doesn't appear that there is even going to be a competition for the job.
On Tuesday, the Broncos brought back Riley Dixon, who punted for the team in 2016 and 2017 after being chosen in the seventh round of the 2016 draft out of Syracuse. In a subsequent move, the team has also rescinded the exclusive rights free agent tender it made to Corliss Waitman.
That will make Waitman an unrestricted free agent and end his time with the Broncos after just one season.
Former special teams coach Dwayne Stukes was a big supporter of Waitman's but he did not play well for the Broncos this past season after he was kept in favor of veteran Sam Martin in order to save some money.
Waitman did not play well for the team and looked every bit like the bargain-basement player the Broncos signed.
After two seasons with the Broncos, Dixon was traded to the New York Giants for a seventh-round pick after the Broncos brought in Marquette King. He kicked in New York for four seasons before spending the 2022 season with the Los Angeles Rams.
For his career, Dixon has averaged 45.8 yards per punt. He will now come back to the place his career started, kicking the ball in the thin air of Denver. As a rookie, Dixon was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team.
He has had seven punts blocked during his career which is a bit of a concern. He's had at least one punt blocked in four of his seven seasons in the league. That is one thing that special teams coaches Mike Westhoff and Ben Kotwica will need to work on ahead of the 2023 season.
Last year with the Rams, Dixon went 2-for-2 on passing attempts on plays in which the Rams faked a punt, so that could also be a wrinkle the Broncos throw in from time to time.
Either way, it does seem that the team upgraded the punter position with this move.