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Spartans in the NFL: Bryce Baringer’s competition released by Patriots

Good news for Bryce Baringer.



Bryce Baringer
© Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

While we do not know officially, things look good for former Michigan State star punter Bryce Baringer with the Patriots.

Mid-day Monday, the New England Patriots announced they were releasing punter Corliss Waitman, via Tom Pelissero on X (formerly Twitter). Waitman was one of two punters on the roster with the Patriots, the other being rookie and former Michigan State Spartan Bryce Baringer.

Waitman punted for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season and was signed upon the release of Jake Bailey. The Patriots then drafted Baringer in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft making Baringer and Waitman compete for the starting spot since. 

It appears that competition is officially over, as Waitman received his walking papers on Monday. Unless New England is active on waivers or trades tomorrow, that means that former Spartan Bryce Baringer will be the starting punter for the Pats. 

Baringer has been consistently amazing this preseason, with 11 punts averaging 51.5 yards, with six of those being downed inside the 20. He has a longest punt of 69 yards (nice), with that coming in his most recent outing against the Tennessee Titans. In that game, Baringer had five punts and averaged 49.2 yards per punt, with two downed inside the 20 and a touchback. This all backs up his resilient career as a Spartan, going from a transfer, to cut, to a part time starter, to what should have been a Ray Guy Award-winning season.

Baringer flirting with 50 yards per punt is no surprise to the green and white faithful, as the punter averaged 48.4 and 49.0 yards per punt in his final two seasons for the Spartans. 

New England has been good to the Spartans, with multiple plays receiving chances of making the roster in years past. Brian Lewerke had his first NFL preseason snaps for New England, Shilique Calhoun spent a few years up in Foxborough, and Brian Hoyer won a ring as a member of the Patriots in 2019. 

While we will officially find out at 4 p.m. EST tomorrow, when all rosters will be trimmed to 53 men, Baringer is a near certainty for the Patriots Week 1 roster. That said, tuning in to the Patriots roster moves is a good decision, as former Spartan corner Ameer Speed is also fighting for a spot on the 53-man alongside Baringer.