The New York Giants released punter and all-around fan favorite, Steve Weatherford, right before the beginning of the 2015-2016 NFL season. You may already be aware of my great fandom for Weatherford from when I wrote about him last year or from seeing my Weatherford Wednesday shirt on select Sundays (although, ironically enough, never on Wednesdays).
Want to know the number of shirts I own from other NFL players...a big, fat, zero.
The good thing for Weatherford is, if he doesn't want to punt in the NFL anymore going forward (his family just had their 4th kid, so that might factor into his next career decision) he's put in some work doing some TV and seems to have a bit of a knack for it.
Of course, being the class act that he his, Steve posted a Thank You video to Tom Coughlin, John Mara, his teammates, and NY Giants fans.
The Giants released Weatherford in part because of his salary of $3.075 million and because Tom Coughlin had expressed concern of Weatherford's inconsistent punting in the pre-season. The Giants decided to trade a conditional 7th round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Ex-Rugby player and Aussie Punter, Brad Wing. With the release of Weatherford, the Giants will have $1.75 million in dead money on the cap and additionally, pay the incoming Wing $510,000. So overall, there is a savings of $815,000 for the Giants for 2015.
Wing, 24, played his first NFL season with the Steelers last year but I feel a bit little skeptical about him. The scouting report on Wing is that he is be very good at directional punts based on his Rugby background but he is very unseasoned as an NFL punter. Plus, we all know the result from the last draft pick that the Giants used on a Punter...the fucking tragedy of Matt Dodge.
The reason that the Giants were willing to give Weatherford that little bit of extra salary is because they realized how important having a good punter actually is in the NFL.
To Wing's credit, he had a very good first game against the Cowboys, punting 4 times, netting 45.5 yards a punt, with 3 out of 4 of those being inside the 20 yard line.
I just wanted to give a HUGE shout-out to Weatherford for creating, quite possibly, my favorite Giants gif of all-time...
...and some people may forget (certainly not me), but he was an integral part to the Giants Super Bowl XLVI victory against the Patriots. Here's a rundown of his work in the Big Game:
1. A 36-yard punt that was downed on the 6-yard line.
2. The very next play...
...Justin Tuck happened and the Giants went up 2-0 with a Safety on Brady's intentional grounding.
3. His second punt, a near-perfect coffin-corner kick that the Giants special teams should have gotten to, but instead snuck into the end zone for a touchback.
4. The third punt, a 51-yard beauty that scooted out of bounds at the 4-yard line.
All in all, a hell of a great Super Bowl, and even more importantly, a hell of a great guy.
Here's a nice little clip from Good Day New York with Steve talking about his release.