Posted: 4:10 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, 2013
By James Brady
The San Francisco 49ers agreed to a contract with undrafted free agent punter Colton Schmidt, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. Schmidt played college ball at UC Davis, and of course, Andy Lee is on standby.
Not standby because his roster spot may be in danger -- just standby as in rest. Lee is one of the top punters in the NFL, boasting an average of 48.1 yards per punt and a net average of 43.2 yards in 2012. His career averages are stellar: 45.9 yards per punt and a net of 39.4 yards per punt.
Additionally, Lee is signed through 2019, meaning he'll be with the 49ers until he's 37 years old, provided he continues to be awesome. And why wouldn't he?
Schmidt coming in just before training camp tells us we'll see a lot of him through preseason until roster cuts have to be made. Lee keeps himself in shape and there's not much he needs to refine at this point. He'll stretch and do his thing, but that golden foot should be kept on the sidelines until it's needed.
And hopefully it's not needed all that much this year.
The signing of Schmidt pushes the 49ers to 90 men on the roster, the offseason cap. I'd assume that Schmidt wouldn't be the first off in the case of San Francisco needing the spot for someone else either, as most teams tend to take resting their kickers and punters rather seriously.
As Maiocco notes, Schmidt will likely do kickoffs and perhaps even extra points and field goals, because Phil Dawson needs even more rest than Lee at this point in his career.