Punter Sam Joseph Martin (born February 27, 1990) is a free agent in the National Football League. A former college football player for the Appalachian State Mountaineers, he was selected by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
The 2022 base wage for Martin was $2.25M, the last year of his three-year contract. The Broncos will save that much money by releasing their previous punter, who was under contract for another year and a half at $7.05 million. According to Mike Klis of 9News, Martin’s refusal to take a wage cut on Sunday may have been the impetus for his release (Twitter link).
Martin’s 46.0 average punting distance per game last season was only good for 18th in the NFL, despite the fact that he was benefiting from the more accommodating conditions in Denver. The 32-year-old punter for the Lions should still attract plenty of attention.
With the release of former Broncos punter Brett Kern, the Titans now have two seasoned punters available in free agency. As both were veterans with service time, we were able to eliminate their attendance requirements.
We've released punter Sam Martin and made a series of additional roster moves.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) August 29, 2022
Waitman, who is 27, has played in only two games in the NFL. In 2021, the Steelers experienced both. Waitman was claimed by Denver after Pittsburgh released him in January. The former South Alabama player has a good chance of starting the season as the Broncos’ punter. This season, Waitman will earn a meager $825.000.
Martin received the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honor in Week 12 of the 2015 season after he punted four times for 181 yards and allowed just three punt return yards.
Martin extended his contract with the Lions by four years on September 9, 2016. After the 2016 NFL season, Martin was selected as an alternate for the 2017 Pro Bowl, although he did not end up playing in the game.
The ankle injury Martin sustained throughout the offseason forced him to be placed on the non-football injury list on September 2, 2017. On October 28, 2017, he was added to the active roster in time for the team’s Week 8 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Martin inked a $7.05 million contract with the Denver Broncos for three years on March 30, 2020. On August 29, 2022, the Broncos waived Martin.