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April 29, 2023

Report: Eagles to sign Kansas State P Ty Zentner

Eagles NFL
042923TyZentner Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

Ty Zentner (8)

The Philadelphia Eagles will be signing Kansas State punter Ty Zentner as an undrafted rookie free agent, according to a report from Josh Tolentino of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Zentner himself also indicated that he is headed to Philly.

Zentner had double duty at Kansas State, serving as the team's kicker and punter, which isn't that uncommon in college football. The Eagles certainly aren't looking to give Jake Elliott competition in training camp, so Zentner will be focusing on punting.

In 2022, Zentner averaged 44.5 yards per punt, and a net average of 41.9. As a kicker, he made all 42 of his kicks (11 field goals, 31 PATs), including this clutch game-winning field goal right down the middle in the Big 12 Championship Game.

As a punter, Zentner has a strong leg, as you can see in his highlight reel: 

"Puntalytics" actually had Zentner as a fit for the Eagles a few weeks ago:

The Eagles could opt to bring in Rutgers punter and 2022 Ray Guy Award winner Adam Korsak to compete with Arryn Siposs, but they’ve had enough time with pin-deep specialists who struggle to uncork long-balls to know that they’d like something different (plus they never punt from beyond their 40, so why even go for a pin-deep guy). Instead, they go for wild-card, and official prospect of Puntalytics, Ty Zentner. Zentner combines a monster leg with some serious shank issues. Fans see both on display in the preseason, and though he doesn’t beat out Siposs in 2023, the Eagles finally give themself a respectable pipeline.

Shanks were of course the downfall of the Eagles' incumbent punter, Arryn Siposs. 

In his first NFL season in 2021, Siposs struggled mightily down the stretch, with several Shankopotomus punts in the final two games. Against Dallas Week 18, in "crush the ball deep" territory, Siposs had punts of 21 and 24 yards, both of which led to Cowboys touchdowns on their ensuing drives. Against the Buccaneers in the playoffs, once again in "crush it" situations, Siposs hit punts of 27 and 36 yards, with the latter leading to a Bucs touchdown on the ensuing drive.

During the offseason, the Eagles made the baffling choice not to give Siposs any competition during training camp, basically handing him the job. He was better during the regular season in 2022 than he was in 2021, but he once again had a disastrous performance in the playoffs. 

In the second half of the Super Bowl, Siposs was supposed to punt the ball to the left side of the field, but he shanked a line drive to the right side. As you can see in the video below (if you can stomach re-watching it), the Eagles' gunners are running down the field as if they expect the ball to have been punted to the left. When the Eagles' punt coverage over-pursued to the right, Kadarius Toney made Zach Pascal miss and then found wide open spaces with a convoy out in front of him. 

That was obviously a devastating play.

Unlike in 2022 training camp, the Eagles will have a punting competition in 2023, assuming Siposs or Zentner aren't released before we get that far.

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