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 historical past. The league has seen a number of others final some time. Listed here are the longest-tenured tandems, amongst pure kickers and punters, in particular groups historical past.
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The gold (silver and black) customary for particular groups longevity occurred in Oakland to start out the twenty first century. The Raiders acquired each Janikowski and Lechler in 2000 — Janikowski by way of controversial first-round choose and Lechler in Spherical 5 — and extracted supreme worth. Lechler, particularly, shined as a Raider. No pure punter in NFL historical past, even Raider legend Ray Man, matches Lechler’s six first-team All-Professional nods. Lechler signing with the Texans in 2013 broke up the pair. “Seabass” trudged on for 17 seasons as a Raider, enjoying essentially the most video games in team historical past (268). He’s considered one of eight males to have made a 63-yard discipline aim.
In transport 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 team’s punter till 1994. Biasucci came to visit in 1984 after the Falcons reduce him. This duo was not known as upon to kick in lots of large video games; the Colts performed one postseason contest throughout these longtime teammates’ 11 seasons collectively. However Stark was a four-time Professional Bowler; Biasucci was honored as soon as as effectively. Each left in 1995, Biasucci ending his profession with the ’95 Rams and Stark enjoying in some greater video games with the Tremendous Bowl XXX-bound Steelers.
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11 seasons: Jan Stenerud and Jerrel Wilson
These two performed collectively on the Chiefs’ Tremendous Bowl IV-winning team, with the tandem staying in Kansas Metropolis till 1977. Regardless of the Chiefs cratering because the ’70s progressed, their specialists loved embellished careers. Stenerud, whom Kansas Metropolis selected as a future choose within the 1966 AFL Draft, morphed from Montana State ski jumper to Corridor 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 Professional Bowler after main the expanded NFL thrice within the early ’70s. The Chiefs traded Wilson after the 1977 season, breaking apart the pair.
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Might 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 Spherical 4. Koch wraps a 16-year profession, one wherein he performed extra video games than anybody in Ravens historical past (256). A sixth-round choose in 2006, Koch made one Professional Bowl. Baltimore’s better-known specialist arrived in 2012 when every helped Baltimore win Tremendous Bowl XLVII. The Ravens will in all probability be high-quality if Tucker breaks Koch’s franchise games-played document. The five-time All-Professional might already be the very best ever. It’s considerably stunning Tucker solely makes $5 million a yr.
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Lindell and Moorman mixed to play 414 video games; neither kicked within the playoffs. The Payments, 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 Workforce for the 2000s. Lindell didn’t make a Professional Bowl as a Invoice however kicked 14 seasons, ending his profession with the Buccaneers in 2013.
Hanson’s 327 video games are the most ever performed for one team . The 1992 second-round choose went 21 years with the Lions; Harris grew to become his most frequent battery mate. After the Bengals reduce Harris halfway by means 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 manner up within the ’92 draft for Hanson, who kicked in each regular-season game in 20 of his 21 years. Hanson loved most of Barry Sanders’ profession, kicking in playoff video games within the ’90s, and lasted lengthy sufficient to kick within the 2011 postseason with Megatron and Matthew Stafford.
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The Broncos introduced of their longest-tenured duo collectively, drafting Elam within the 1993 third spherical and including Rouen as a free agent. These two have been with the franchise throughout its late-Nineteen Nineties apex, contributing to 2 Tremendous Bowl-winning groups. Throughout the second of these seasons, Elam grew to become the second kicker ever (after Tom Dempsey) as well a 63-yard discipline aim. A Hawaii alum, Elam performed 15 seasons with the Broncos. On account of accidents John Elway suffered at factors, Elam’s 236 video games are essentially the most in Broncos historical past. Rouen, a Colorado native, was along with his home-state team till 2002. He ended his profession three years later with Seattle.
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9 seasons: Steve Christie and Chris Mohr
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Regardless of Scott Norwood’s Tremendous Bowl miss, the Payments backed their longtime kicker. A Norwood make helped Buffalo oust Denver within the 1991 AFC title game. However the team 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 Payments after the Bucs reduce 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 Tremendous Bowls, with Christie’s game-winner over the Oilers in a 1992 wild-card game cementing the NFL’s biggest comeback. Each continued their careers away from Buffalo after a brand new Payments regime reduce every in 2001.
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Eight seasons: St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams: Greg Zuerlein and Johnny Hekker
Though 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 Spherical 6. They signed Hekker as a UDFA quickly after. One of many strongest-legged duos in NFL historical past mixed for 5 All-Professional nods (4 for Hekker, second-most amongst pure punters) and performed main roles to assist the Rams to Tremendous Bowl LIII. The Nickell Robey-Coleman no-call, understandably, obscures Zuerlein’s 57-yard additional time game-winner. Hekker caught round for the Tremendous Bowl the Rams gained 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 fascinating. 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 Professional Bowl in the course of the Falcons offense’s dominant 2016 season and performed till he was 44. Bosher labored as an efficient sidekick, however a groin harm halted his profession in 2019. Neither Falcon specialist kicked in 2020.
Perhaps essentially the most recognizable kicker-punter duo in NFL historical past, resulting from Vinatieri’s on-field success and McAfee’s media ubiquity, these Colts performed collectively from 2009-16. Already a legend by the point he acquired to Indianapolis in 2006, by way of the long-lasting 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 Professional Bowls in eight seasons and entered the media game early, retiring after his second all-star invite in 2016.
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Eight seasons: Pat Leahy and Chuck Ramsey
No Jet’s longevity matches Leahy’s; the St. Louis College soccer participant kicked in New York for 18 seasons starting in 1974. Eight of these included Ramsey, a Patriots draftee who stopped over within the fledgling World Soccer League earlier than catching on with the rival Jets in 1977. Whereas Ramsey’s eight-season run doesn’t even cowl half of Leahy’s, the pair did assist the Jets to an AFC title game in 1982. Leahy, whose 250 video games are 43 greater than anybody else in Jets historical past, hung round till 1991 when a nerve subject ended his final season early.
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Huber stays with the Bengals and figures to be teammates with Evan McPherson for a bit. Whereas McPherson might in the future be recognized (wherever this kind of factor is mentioned) as the very best 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 team signed Nugent, a Dayton-area product and second-round select of Ohio State, in 2010. They teamed up for the team’s 5 straight playoff berths from 2011-15. Nugent loved a 16-year profession, although solely seven of these years got here in Cincinnati.
Whereas Vanderjagt’s ill-advised 2003 interview criticizing Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning‘s management qualities preceded one of many worst discipline aim tries in playoff historical past — a January 2006 misfire that prevented additional time in an upset loss to the Steelers — the Canadian ended his eight-year Colts keep as essentially the most correct kicker in NFL historical past on the time (87.5%). After Manning’s notorious Professional 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’ Tremendous Bowl XLI-winning team.
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Seven seasons: Jeff Jaeger and Jeff Gossett
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Each 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 normal with punters) commerce with the Oilers, whereas Jaeger got here west as a Plan B free agent. The Browns took Jaeger within the 1987 third spherical however didn’t defend him within the NFL’s beta-free company setup, after a 1988 foot harm. The 2 stayed Raiders by means of the 1995 transfer again to Oakland. Every peaked in 1991 when they grew to become the uncommon specialty teammates to every earn All-Professional 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 Man
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From Man to Gossett to Lechler, the Raiders know the right way to discover punting stability. Broadly considered the best modern-era punter, Man 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. Man was aboard for all three Raider Tremendous Bowl wins; Bahr was there for the second two. Man retired after the ’86 season and, 28 years later, broke new floor by turning into the primary pure punter to obtain a Corridor of Fame bust.
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Seven seasons: Joe Danelo and Dave Jennings
The late-Seventies Giants don’t encourage many nice reminiscences, with the “Miracle within the Meadowlands” scene their defining second. However these groups acquired high-quality punting. Jennings, a 1974 UDFA, made 4 Professional 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 discipline aim distance, most notably with a 55-yarder in 1981. Each completed their careers within the AFC East — Jennings as a Jet, Danelo a Invoice.
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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 reduce him in 1971. They have been in place collectively by means of 1977, punting for the primary two Steeler Tremendous Bowl squads. One of many few pre-Chuck Noll gamers to make it to the Tremendous 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 Professional Bowl invitations.
Sam Robinson is a Kansas Metropolis, Mo.-based author who principally writes concerning the NFL. He has coated sports activities for almost 10 years. Boxing, the Royals and Pandora stations that includes feminine rock protagonists are a few of his go-tos. Often fascinating tweets @SRobinson25.