Ravens sign punter Palardy to complete 90-man roster
— The Baltimore Ravens announced the signing of punter Michael Palardy Saturday.
The move completed Baltimore’s 90-man training camp roster.
Palardy was signed by the Panthers on April 4, but was waived on June 7 when Carolina brought in Mike Scifres.
“Here’s what I saw of Michael: I saw him warming up on the other field in case we had enough time to do punt returns,” special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said. “We ran out of time, so he was on the other field and I didn’t get to see him.”
Palardy has punted in the Canadian Football League and went to training camp with the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams. He was named All-SEC at the University of Tennessee in 2013, when he led the nation with 33 punts that
landed inside of the 20-yard line.
Palardy’s time with the Ravens is an audition to land a job as an NFL punter, even though everyone within the organization knows it won’t be in Baltimore. That job belongs safely to the Pro Bowler Sam Koch.
“We had him during minicamp,” Rosburg said. “What he really liked about having Michael is that he’s a talented guy, he’s a lefty — which is really valuable because we play against a number of lefty punters in this league — and we want to help him as he helps us. He’s going to help our returners.
“Sam’s job is secure. We all understand that. In my view, he’s the best punter in the National Football League,” he continued. “But also, we don’t want to have Sam be the JUGS Machine for our returners. We have young returners who need repetitions, who need to catch real punts.”
Rosburg sees the rela- tionship between Palardy and the Ravens as mutually beneficial. If Palardy performs well, especially in Baltimore’s upcoming preseason games, teams in need of a punter will notice.
“We have a young man here, Michael Palardy, who’s a legitimate NFL punter in his own right, and we’re trying to help him. We’re also getting a lot of of good, lefty reps from a real punter that will help our returners,” Rosburg said. “That’s a win-win for us.”
Palardy isn’t the only specialist brought in at a seemingly unwinnable position. Will Lutz, an undrafted rookie out of Georgia Southern, is technically competing to become the Ravens’ placekicker.
Baltimore signed the sure-footed Justin Tucker, the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, to a four-year contract that included $10.8 million guaranteed — the most money ever guaranteed to a kicker in league history.
“Obviously, when Justin signed his contract, we understood the consequences for Will. We’re trying to help Will get a job in this league. We think he’s a very talented kicker,” Rosburg said. “I was happy for Justin, I was happy for Ozzie [Newsome] and the personnel department, the organization and the fans. But I was also happy for me and my family.”
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The Baltimore Ravens completed their 90-man roster by signing punter Michael Palardy on Saturday.