A day-by-day Broncos player breakdown is something we've been doing since our days at BroncoTalk nearly a decade ago. This year the tradition continues as we look at the Denver Broncos roster heading into the 2015 season in our 90-in-90 series.
Name: Britton Colquitt
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 205
Age: 30 Experience: 7th Season
I’m not a fan of Britton Colquitt’s work-product since he was given his big contract after the 2011 season. You can read about that here and here. Colquitt is currently the second highest paid punter in the league, but he has not performed to a level commiserate with his salary.
Britton, like most punters, entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent back in 2009. He was originally signed with the Dolphin's practice squad in December 2009. We signed him to our active roster off of the Dolphin’s practice squad later that month. Britton won the starting punter job for us in 2010 and has held it since then.
At one point, Britton was one of the best punters in the league. In terms of punter rankings (yes, those things do exist), Colquitt ranked 6th and 5th in net punting in 2011 and 2012. He has ranked 7th in the league in both of the last two seasons at avoiding touchbacks and he was second best in the league in 2013 at forcing fair catches. According to his team bio page, Colquitt is the franchise career leader in gross (45.8) and net (39.3) punting average. Other accolades from his bio include:
- Established Broncos single-season records in both gross (47.4) and net (40.2) punting average in 2011.
- Became just the third player in NFL history to post a 50-yard gross average and a 43-yard net average during a single month (min. 20 att.) when he averaged 50.3 gross yards and 43.5 net yards per punt in October 2011.
- Tied for the NFL lead with six games grossing 50 or more yards in 2010, while posting the 10th-highest gross punting average (44.6) in team annals.
He is no longer one of the best punters in the league. His performance over the last two season has been poor. He only had two stats where he was in the top half of the league last season – 7th in touchback % (avoiding touchbacks) and 14th in % of punts inside the 20. Despite punting at altitude in half of his games, he was 28th in net punt average last season and 22nd in gross punt average. That was a poor enough performance for the new coaching staff to bring in some competition in the off-season in Karl Schmitz, who hasn’t punted in a game since 2008.
Special Teams Coach Joe DeCamillis regarding the punting competition between Colquitt and Schmitz - "It was a good day today for both of them from the standpoint that they were pretty even and that's the way it's been," DeCamillis said. "It's a good competition so we'll see how it goes. Yeah, it's been a good competition for those guys. We've had a lot of reps there and I think after the preseason is over we'll be able to decide who that best guy is."
Colquitt is expensive. Schmitz is cheap. If during the pre-season, Schmitz shows that he can match the mediocre to poor performance that Colquitt had last season, look for Colquitt to be cut in a move to clear up the 10 million over the cap of the current projected 53.