The Buffalo Bills signed punter Sam Martin to their roster on August 31, but details of his contract weren’t available until recently when it was reported that Martin signed a team-friendly deal to join what many analysts are saying is a Super Bowl-caliber team.
Martin and the Bills agreed to a one-year, $1,272,500 contract that carries a $1,047,000 cap hit for Buffalo.
Martin was scheduled to make $2.25 million with his former team, the Denver Broncos, but after reportedly refusing to take a pay cut during the offseason, found himself in a battle with Corliss Waitman, an undrafted free agent who had most recently played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and brought only a $825,000 cap hit with him.
Ultimately, Martin was released by the Broncos, paving the way for him to sign with Buffalo.
“A lot went into that decision,” Martin said recently. “But overall, I think I ended up in the right spot, let’s put it that way. It’s my tenth year in the league. There’s a lot of things more important to me than technically the money. One of them is being on a team of this caliber. And just the culture here. A lot of things played into it. Money wasn’t necessarily a factor in where I wanted to be, where I wanted to play, and where I thought was the best fit for me as a player.”
Martin, who was originally drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2013, spent the past two seasons in Denver where he had been teammates with Von Miller, who also signed with the Bills this offseason. He came to Buffalo having played 123 games where he averaged 46.3 yards per punt and has had 191 of his 527 career punts downed inside the 20.
According to Bill’s general manager Brandon Beane, one of the biggest assets that Martin brought to the team was his experience holding the ball for place kicks and Beane said that signing a veteran with that experience was important to the team.
“We wanted a vet, not only as a punter, but a guy who we’ve seen hold plenty of games,” Beane said during a press conference the day after the team announced that they had signed Martin.
Martin’s first game as a Buffalo Bill, the 2022 NFL season opener against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday, September 8, proved Beane’s point. The Buffalo offense spent most of the game getting the ball into the end zone and Martin wasn’t called on to punt even once. However, he teamed up with long snapper Reid Ferguson and kicker Tyler Bass as the trio flawlessly executed the snap-hold-kick sequence for four extra points and a field goal during Buffalo’s 31-10 victory over the Rams.