When the Green Bay Packers released Peter Mortell, it appeared that veteran Tim Masthay had all but secured the team’s punting job. That perception changed in a matter of days, as the Packers announced Masthay’s release as well as its successful claim of punter Jacob Schum.
Schum, a former undrafted free agent, has spent time with the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers since entering the league in 2012. He saw his first regular season action last season as the Buccaneers' punter. Tampa Bay waived Schum over the weekend as part of the league-mandated roster reduction.
Earlier in the week, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy described Masthay as "in the driver's seat" for the team's punting job. Apparently, the team felt strongly enough about Schum to make a move once he became available.
Statistically, Schum doesn't necessarily represent an improvement over Masthay. Last season, Schum averaged 41.9 yards per punt and 38.0 yards net, lower on both counts than Masthay (43.9 and 40.2 respectively). However, Schum did outperform Masthay on punts landed inside the 20, hitting the mark 26.8 percent of the time compared to 22.2 percent.
Schum has a very short timeframe with which to impress his new employers. The team wraps up training camp this week and plays its final preseason game Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs.