Sam Koch’s retirement from the Ravens after 16 years ends the longtime Koch- Justin Tucker partnership, one of many longest-running specialty duos in NFL history. The league has seen a number of others final some time. Here are the longest-tenured tandems, amongst pure kickers and punters, in particular groups history.
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The gold (silver and black) normal for particular groups longevity occurred in Oakland to begin the twenty first century. The Raiders acquired each Janikowski and Lechler in 2000 — Janikowski by way of controversial first-round choose and Lechler in Round 5 — and extracted supreme worth. Lechler, in explicit, shined as a Raider. No pure punter in NFL history, even Raider legend Ray Guy, matches Lechler’s six first-team All-Pro nods. Lechler signing with the Texans in 2013 broke up the pair. “Seabass” trudged on for 17 seasons as a Raider, taking part in probably the most video games in workforce history (268). He is considered one of eight males to have made a 63-yard subject purpose.
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In delivery out former MVP Bert Jones in 1982, the Colts landed a long-term punter. They took Stark with the second-rounder obtained from the Rams; Stark was the workforce’s punter till 1994. Biasucci came to visit in 1984 after the Falcons minimize him. This duo was not referred to as upon to kick in many massive video games; the Colts performed one postseason contest throughout these longtime teammates’ 11 seasons collectively. But Stark was a four-time Pro Bowler; Biasucci was honored as soon as as nicely. Both left in 1995, Biasucci ending his profession with the ’95 Rams and Stark taking part in in some greater video games with the Super Bowl XXX-bound Steelers.
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11 seasons: Jan Stenerud and Jerrel Wilson
These two performed collectively on the Chiefs’ Super Bowl IV-winning workforce, with the tandem staying in Kansas City till 1977. Despite the Chiefs cratering because the ’70s progressed, their specialists loved adorned careers. Stenerud, whom Kansas City selected as a future choose in the 1966 AFL Draft, morphed from Montana State ski jumper to Hall of Fame kicker. The Norwegian was the primary pure kicker inducted. Wilson not solely led the AFL in punting twice; the 15-year Chief was a three-time Pro Bowler after main the expanded NFL thrice in the early ’70s. The Chiefs traded Wilson after the 1977 season, breaking apart the pair.
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May noticed the NFL’s present particular groups longevity kingpins break up. Koch retired shortly after the Ravens drafted his successor (Penn State’s Jordan Stout) in Round 4. Koch wraps a 16-year profession, one in which he performed extra video games than anybody in Ravens history (256). A sixth-round choose in 2006, Koch made one Pro Bowl. Baltimore’s better-known specialist arrived in 2012 when every helped Baltimore win Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens will in all probability be nice if Tucker breaks Koch’s franchise games-played file. The five-time All-Pro could already be the most effective ever. It is considerably shocking Tucker solely makes $5 million a 12 months.
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Lindell and Moorman mixed to play 414 video games; neither kicked in the playoffs. The Bills, nonetheless, didn’t have to fret about their particular groups linchpins for some time, going from 2003-12 with the Lindell-Moorman partnership. Moorman was there earlier, coming to Buffalo as an undrafted free agent from Division II Pittsburg State. The small-school product thrived in 13 seasons, touchdown on the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s. Lindell didn’t make a Pro Bowl as a Bill however kicked 14 seasons, ending his profession with the Buccaneers in 2013.
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Hanson’s 327 video games are probably the most ever performed for one workforce . The 1992 second-round choose went 21 years with the Lions; Harris grew to become his most frequent battery mate. After the Bengals minimize Harris halfway by way of the 2003 season, the ex-Broncos draftee trekked to Detroit and lasted till 2012. Amazingly, Hanson was nonetheless going by then. The Lions traded approach up in the ’92 draft for Hanson, who kicked in each regular-season recreation in 20 of his 21 years. Hanson loved most of Barry Sanders’ profession, kicking in playoff video games in the ’90s, and lasted lengthy sufficient to kick in the 2011 postseason with Megatron and Matthew Stafford.
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The Broncos introduced in their longest-tenured duo collectively, drafting Elam in the 1993 third spherical and including Rouen as a free agent. These two have been with the franchise throughout its late-Nineties apex, contributing to 2 Super Bowl-winning groups. During the second of these seasons, Elam grew to become the second kicker ever (after Tom Dempsey) in addition a 63-yard subject purpose. A Hawaii alum, Elam performed 15 seasons with the Broncos. Due to accidents John Elway suffered at factors, Elam’s 236 video games are probably the most in Broncos history. Rouen, a Colorado native, was along with his home-state workforce till 2002. He ended his profession three years later with Seattle.
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Nine seasons: Steve Christie and Chris Mohr
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Despite Scott Norwood’s Super Bowl miss, the Bills backed their longtime kicker. A Norwood make helped Buffalo oust Denver in the 1991 AFC title recreation. But the workforce moved on in 1992, signing Christie as a Plan B free agent from Tampa Bay. Mohr, who additionally started his profession with the Buccaneers, joined the Bills after the Bucs minimize him in 1991. From 1992-2000, Christie and Mohr grew to become one of many NFL’s higher tandems. They helped Buffalo to 2 extra Super Bowls, with Christie’s game-winner over the Oilers in a 1992 wild-card recreation cementing the NFL’s biggest comeback. Both continued their careers away from Buffalo after a brand new Bills regime minimize every in 2001.
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Eight seasons: St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams: Greg Zuerlein and Johnny Hekker
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Although Les Snead is now recognized for splashy trades, two of his first strikes as Rams GM addressed their particular groups. In 2012, the Rams labored out Zuerlein on his Division II faculty campus (Missouri Western) and drafted him in Round 6. They signed Hekker as a UDFA quickly after. One of the strongest-legged duos in NFL history mixed for 5 All-Pro nods (4 for Hekker, second-most amongst pure punters) and performed main roles to assist the Rams to Super Bowl LIII. The Nickell Robey-Coleman no-call, understandably, obscures Zuerlein’s 57-yard time beyond regulation game-winner. Hekker caught round for the Super Bowl the Rams received three years later.
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Bryant and Bosher started this run in 2011 when the latter arrived as a sixth-round choose. Bryant’s profession arc is extra attention-grabbing. It took some time for the eventual 18-year veteran to stabilize his profession. After scuffling with the Giants, Bryant caught on with the Buccaneers in 2005, making a 62-yard game-winner in Tampa. Bryant’s Falcons run didn’t start till his age-34 season, in 2009. He made the Pro Bowl through the Falcons offense’s dominant 2016 season and performed till he was 44. Bosher labored as an efficient sidekick, however a groin damage halted his profession in 2019. Neither Falcon specialist kicked in 2020.
Maybe probably the most recognizable kicker-punter duo in NFL history, as a result of Vinatieri’s on-field success and McAfee’s media ubiquity, these Colts performed collectively from 2009-16. Already a legend by the point he bought to Indianapolis in 2006, by way of the enduring Patriots game-winners, Vinatieri performed on the franchise tag in 2005. The Colts gave him a profitable (for kickers) contract in 2006 to exchange Mike Vanderjagt. Vinatieri picked up his fourth ring in his first Colts season and later grew to become the NFL’s scoring chief. McAfee made two Pro Bowls in eight seasons and entered the media recreation early, retiring after his second all-star invite in 2016.
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Eight seasons: Pat Leahy and Chuck Ramsey
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No Jet’s longevity matches Leahy’s; the St. Louis University soccer participant kicked in New York for 18 seasons starting in 1974. Eight of these included Ramsey, a Patriots draftee who stopped over in the fledgling World Football League earlier than catching on with the rival Jets in 1977. While Ramsey’s eight-season run doesn’t even cowl half of Leahy’s, the pair did assist the Jets to an AFC title recreation in 1982. Leahy, whose 250 video games are 43 greater than anybody else in Jets history, hung round till 1991 when a nerve situation ended his last season early.
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Huber stays with the Bengals and figures to be teammates with Evan McPherson for a bit. While McPherson could sooner or later be recognized (wherever this type of factor is mentioned) as the most effective Bengal kicker of the Huber period, the Huber-Nugent tandem featured an all-Ohio specialty crew. A Cincinnati native, Huber joined the Bengals as a 2009 fifth-round choose. The workforce signed Nugent, a Dayton-area product and second-round pick of Ohio State, in 2010. They teamed up for the workforce’s 5 straight playoff berths from 2011-15. Nugent loved a 16-year profession, although solely seven of these years got here in Cincinnati.
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While Vanderjagt’s ill-advised 2003 interview criticizing Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning’s management qualities preceded one of many worst subject purpose tries in playoff history — a January 2006 misfire that prevented time beyond regulation in an upset loss to the Steelers — the Canadian ended his eight-year Colts keep as probably the most correct kicker in NFL history on the time (87.5%). After Manning’s notorious Pro Bowl retaliatory strike, Vanderjagt went 37-for-37 the next season. Smith performed with Vanderjagt from 1999-2005, arriving as a seventh-round choose and staying till 2008. He teamed with Adam Vinatieri on Indianapolis’ Super Bowl XLI-winning workforce.
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Seven seasons: Jeff Jaeger and Jeff Gossett
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Both Jaeger and Gossett have been on the 1987 Browns. By 1989, every was in Los Angeles. Gossett ended up a Raider after a low-level (per standard with punters) commerce with the Oilers, whereas Jaeger got here west as a Plan B free agent. The Browns took Jaeger in the 1987 third spherical however didn’t shield him in the NFL’s beta-free company setup, after a 1988 foot damage. The two stayed Raiders by way of the 1995 transfer again to Oakland. Each peaked in 1991 once they grew to become the uncommon specialty teammates to every earn All-Pro acclaim. Gossett, a USFL alum, performed till 1996. Jaeger wrapped his profession with the Bears in 1999.
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Seven seasons: Chris Bahr and Ray Guy
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From Guy to Gossett to Lechler, the Raiders know the right way to discover punting stability. Widely considered the best modern-era punter, Guy was famously a first-round choose in 1973. His longest-tenured battery mate didn’t arrive in Oakland till 1980. The elder of the kicking Bahr brothers, Chris caught on with the Raiders after the Bengals didn’t convey him again for a fifth season. Guy was aboard for all three Raider Super Bowl wins; Bahr was there for the second two. Guy retired after the ’86 season and, 28 years later, broke new floor by changing into the primary pure punter to obtain a Hall of Fame bust.
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Seven seasons: Joe Danelo and Dave Jennings
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The late-Seventies Giants don’t encourage many nice reminiscences, with the “Miracle in the Meadowlands” scene their defining second. But these groups acquired high-quality punting. Jennings, a 1974 UDFA, made 4 Pro Bowls in 5 seasons from 1978-82. The 14-year veteran performed with Danelo from 1976-82, with the latter coming over by way of September 1976 commerce with the Packers — for seventh- and Tenth-round picks. Danelo twice led the NFL in subject purpose distance, most notably with a 55-yarder in 1981. Both completed their careers in the AFC East — Jennings as a Jet, Danelo a Bill.
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Seven seasons: Roy Gerela and Bobby Walden
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The pair in place when the Steelers’ dynasty started have been each Oilers draftees, although they didn’t play along with the then-AFL franchise. The Steelers picked up Walden by way of commerce from the Vikings in 1968 and added Gerela after the Oilers minimize him in 1971. They have been in place collectively by way of 1977, punting for the primary two Steeler Super Bowl squads. One of the few pre-Chuck Noll gamers to make it to the Super Bowl years, Walden performed 14 NFL seasons. Gerela, the inspiration for the “Gerela’s Gorillas” fan membership — in a Pittsburgh interval teeming with fan golf equipment — earned two Pro Bowl invitations.
Sam Robinson is a Kansas City, Mo.-based author who principally writes concerning the NFL. He has lined sports activities for practically 10 years. Boxing, the Royals and Pandora stations that includes feminine rock protagonists are a few of his go-tos. Occasionally attention-grabbing tweets @SRobinson25.