The Green Bay Packers traded for the top punter in the NFL in the 2020 season and put former Alabama All-American JK Scott on waivers on Tuesday.
With NFL teams reducing their preseason rosters to the regular-season limit of 53 active-roster players on Tuesday, the Packers acquired Corey Bojorquez and a 2023 seventh-round draft choice from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for a sixth-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Scott then became one of the 26 players released by Green Bay to reach the roster limit before Tuesday afternoon’s NFL-mandated deadline.
Scott joined the Packers as a fifth-round choice in the 2018 NFL Draft. During his three seasons with Green Bay, Scott averaged 44.61 yards on 194 punts. Among players with at least 100 punts, Scott’s average ranks 28th in the NFL since he entered the league.
Scott’s net average during his career is 39.20 yards per punt after he dipped to a net of 37.8 in the 2020 season.
During the Packers’ three preseason games this month, Scott averaged 45.1 yards per punt with a 40.0-yard net.
Green Bay had punter Ryan Winslow with the team in training camp, but he was waived after splitting punts with Scott in the Packers’ first preseason game.
During the Packers’ preseason finale on Saturday, Green Bay punted twice, and placekicker Mason Crosby made one of the punts. Packers coach Matt LeFleur said Scott was dealing with a cramp at the time of Crosby’s punt.
After averaging 43.07 yards per punt in 24 games in his first two seasons with Buffalo, Bojorquez led the NFL in punting with a 50.8-yard average for the Bills in 2020.
Bojorquez signed with the Rams in April, but Los Angeles decided to continue with Johnny Hekker as its punter. Hekker has handled the punting for the Rams for the previous nine seasons, and he has been a Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro four times.
Bojorquez averaged 51.9 yards on seven punts in the preseason.
“I think we had two starting punters on our roster,” Rams coach Sean McVay said after Tuesday’s practice. “Clearly, Corey did an amazing job of maximizing the upside and the interest from teams out there, knowing that -- hey, I think everybody would agree both he and Johnny are two of the best guys at doing what they’re doing.”
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.
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Green Bay Packers cut punter JK Scott, make trade with the Rams for strong-legged Corey Bojorquez
GREEN BAY - Over the past 80 years, the Green Bay Packers have never had a punter lead the NFL in average, but thanks to a trade with the Los Angeles Rams, general manager Brian Gutekunst has a punter who has done exactly that.
On the day teams were required to cut their rosters to 53, Gutekunst gave up on 2018 fifth-round pick JK Scott and replaced him with Corey Bojorquez, the 2020 NFL leader in punting with a 50.8-yard gross average.
Gutekunst sent a sixth-round pick in 2023 to the Rams, who sent Bojorquez and a '23 seventh-round pick back to the Packers in the only deal the Packers GM made on cutdown day. Scott was part of a group of 24 players that the Packers released to get down to the required 53.
The Rams were going to release Bojorquez after re-signing Johnny Hekker, but Gutekunst didn’t want to take the chance that a team with a higher waiver claim spot would grab the fourth-year punter.
Bojorquez has the same $920,000 base salary as Scott, so there won't be much difference in their salary cap charge. Scott's remaining pro-rated signing bonus of $54,389 from his four-year rookie deal will be added to the '22 cap.
It’s easy to see why the Packers coveted Bojorquez. He punted in Buffalo for three seasons, so he knows what it’s like to work in the freezing cold. He has an extremely strong leg, which is a bonus when kicking in the cold and swirling winds inside Lambeau Field.
And he is coming off an eye-popping statistical run dating to last season when he led the league in gross average and ranked fifth in net average with a 44.0 mark. He followed that up with a preseason in which he averaged 51.9 yards gross and net and landed four of his seven attempts inside the 20-yard line.
The Rams were strongly considering keeping Bojorquez. They already had one of the all-time great punters in Hekker but were looking to slash his salary after a mediocre season in ’20. Hekker agreed to alter his contract just before the cuts and the Rams decided to stick with his experience rather than bank on the 24-year-old Bojorquez.
“I think we had two starting punters on our roster, and clearly Corey did an amazing job of maximizing the upside and the interest from teams out there,” Rams coach Sean McVay told reporters Tuesday. “Knowing that, I think everybody would agree that both he and Johnny are two of the best guys doing what they're doing.”
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After leading the league in punting, Bojorquez was scheduled to become a restricted free agent and the Bills would have had to make him a one-year, $2.13 million tender offer. Instead, they let Bojorquez test the market and signed Matt Haack, who had punted the previous four years with Miami and was considered more accurate and better at keeping the ball inside the 20-yard line.
Bojorquez averaged 41.9 yards per punt in ’19 and 45.1 in his injury-shortened (shoulder) rookie season.
The New England Patriots initially signed the undrafted free agent out of New Mexico and intended to sign him to their practice squad after waiving him on cutdown day, but the Bills claimed him on waivers and made him their starting punter. He had not punted during the preseason, but the Bills were aware of the strong leg he had shown in practice.
The Packers had put Scott on notice going into this year after three shaky seasons in which he ranked 22nd, 27th and 19th in gross average and 26th, 24th and 28th in net average from 2018-’20. He did himself no favors with an inconsistent preseason in which he averaged 45.1 yards gross and 40.0 yards net.
Opponents returned four of his punts for 41 yards.
In the final preseason game, kicker Mason Crosby had to take over the punting duties because Scott suffered cramps due to dehydration.
New special teams coach Maurice Drayton said that both Scott and long snapper Hunter Bradley “had their backs to the wall” going into this season and so it wasn’t entirely surprising to see Scott get released. The Packers have had four different punters in the last six years and none had provided anything better than average results.
When Scott was drafted, the Packers hoped the 6-6, 208-pounder out of Alabama would provide them with more distance and height than their most recent punters, but he never found consistency with his form and both his directional and long-range kicking suffered.
The Packers will have to hope that Bojorquez can perform as well at holding on place kicks as Scott did. He had become reliable with his holds even when the snap was not on target and Crosby will have to get used to someone new in less than two weeks as the season opener approaches.
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Giants hosted punter J.K. Scott for a tryout
The New York Giants don’t necessarily need a kicker or a punter, but they hosted J.K. Scott, formerly of the Green Bay Packers, on Friday anyway.
Scott, a fifth-round pick out of Alabama in the 2018 NFL draft, spent the first three season of his career in Green Bay before being released as a part of final cuts this past August. That came after the team traded for Corey Bojorquez.
Over his three seasons, the 6-foot-6, 208-pound Scott was active for 48 games, averaging 44.6 yards per punt on 194 punts (8,654). In 2020, he also handled spot kickoff duties, averaging 60.3 yards per boot (four touchbacks).
Although Scott has never attempted a regular-season field goal, he has practiced them over the years.
It’s possible the Giants are just seeking a kicker/punter for their practice squad, but Scott was not immediately signed to a contract.
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Corey Bojorquez Has Been the Unsung Hero Of the Packers’ Season
The Green Bay Packers acquired Corey Bojorquez in a trade from the Los Angeles Rams just before the season, waiving JK Scott in the process. Bojorquez has been everything Packers fans have wanted in a punter, quietly putting Green Bay in a great position to win football games. So far, he has been one of the most consistent players on the team.
In his three years with the Buffalo Bills, Bojorquez averaged around 46 yards per punt. He had the longest average distance last year while only allowing 138 return yards. After one of the strongest punting seasons we have seen in a while, he was brought to LA to compete against one of the best punters in the league, Johnny Hecker. He didn’t win that competition, but he has had an outstanding season with the Packers.
Through three games, Bojorquez has punted 10 times for 480 yards, averaging 48 yards per punt. That’s only 3.6 yards behind the league leader A.J. Cole of the Las Vegas Raiders. Not only does he have an impressive average, but he also doesn’t have a touchback so far. He has already had four punts get downed within the 20 — impressive given he has only had to punt 10 times so far this season. Given the efficiency of the Packers’ offense (er, aside from the Saints game), Bojorquez is not often in a position where he needs to punt. This gives him plenty of time to rest, which is vital to a kicker or punter’s success. The amount of rest a punter gets is often overlooked, and the Packers’ offense has done a great job this season keeping one of their best players off the field.
Also, Bojorquez has yet to mess up a hold. He has been perfect with Mason Crosby this season, going 8-for-8 on extra points and 4-for-4 on field goals. It’s easy to overlook this stuff, but given Bojorquez’s limited time with the Packers, he has done a great job creating chemistry with Crosby and long snapper Hunter Bradley.
Bojorquez’s best game this season was probably against the Detroit Lions. Bojorquez landed two out of three punts inside the 20, averaging 46.7 yards per attempt. Averaging that many yards while having two punts get downed inside the 20 is a testament to his abilities.
For reference, Scott was 18th in the league in punting average last year and was fourth from last in punting average in 2019. Scott could punt the ball high in the air, but he didn’t have the length Bojorquez did.
Scott wasn’t a lousy punter for the Packers. He got the job done, considering their offensive consistency every year since 2018. One of the reasons Scott kept his job for as long as he did was because the Packers’ offense was typically driving down the field. However, when Scott was backed up in the end zone, the opposing team often received the punt in field goal range.
Having a punter with the ability to consistently down the ball in the 20 while booting it as far as he can is a huge asset for the Packers. Bojorquez has been one of Green Bay’s best players this season.
Kicker scott packers
Former Alabama All-American JK Scott reached a career high in his third season with the Green Bay Packers with an average of 45.5 yards per punt in 2020. But the Packers’ new special-teams coordinator said Scott needs to be “more consistent” in the 2021 campaign.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Maurice Drayton was asked about the performances of Scott and long snapper Hunter Bradley in the 2020 season.
“I call our room where we are the Truth Room, so we’re going to tell the truth,” Drayton said. “Some things I cannot say here, but they both know they have to be more consistent in the things that we need them to do to be successful. They have a prescription that we’ve written for them to work on. They also have their own personal what I call kick doctors or specialist doctors that they’re working with who I’ve fostered a relationship with. They’re getting better, and they will be better.
“And they understand their backs are against the wall.”
With quarterback Aaron Rodgers running the Green Bay offense at an NFL MVP-level, Scott punted only 47 times in 2020 after punting 149 times in his first two seasons.
Scott’s average ranked 20th in the NFL during the regular season, and while he had 14 punts of at least 50 yards, with a long of 62, Scott also had 15 punts of 40 or fewer yards, with a low of 30, and one blocked punt.
Scott had 15 of his punts stop within the opponent’s 20-yard line, a 32.6 percent rate that ranked 23rd among the NFL’s punters.
Only four of the NFL’s regular punters had fewer of their punts returned than Scott did this season. But the 17 punts that were returned went for 291 yards, an average of 17.1 yards per return that gave Green Bay the worst punt coverage in the NFL.
More than half the yards came on two returns – a 91-yarder by Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole on a 59-yard punt on Nov. 15 and a 73-yarder by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor on a 52-yard punt on Dec. 6, accounting for two of the eight punt-return touchdowns in the NFL in 2020.
Drayton replaced Shawn Mennenga as Green Bay’s special-teams coordinator. Drayton had been the Packers’ special-teams assistant for the past three seasons.
“I’ve had a chance to witness him for the last two years,” Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur said on Tuesday. “I’ll tell you what: He’s a teacher. He’s an excellent communicator. Again, he brings great energy to that room, and that’s really what I thought was needed is just his voice leading that room. I’ve got a lot of confidence in his ability, and I think he’s going to do a tremendous job for us in regards to special teams.”
Drayton said his familiarity with the Packers’ special-teams regulars would help him get the best out of them.
“Luckily for me, I’ve been here for three years, so I’ve got a relationship with our core guys or the guys who are currently on the roster,” Drayton said, “so I don’t have to worry about the blind spots if I was coming in new, so to speak. I kind of know where the blind spots are. I know who to approach in the morning or who’s having a bad day or how to approach them or how I need to change my approach or change my teaching style for that day. I think that’s what makes a great coach, a great teacher – having that flexibility to reach the men in that manner.”
Green Bay’s special teams over the past three decades have largely underperformed, Drayton said, because they could with quarterbacks Brett Favre and Rodgers carrying the franchise during that span.
“We as special-teams coaches and as a phase within the Green Bay Packers, we’re a victim of our overall program’s success,” Drayton said. “We’re so blessed and so lucky to have had over that timeframe two gold-jacket quarterbacks. People live their whole lives and they never even sniff a gold-jacket quarterback, so when you have that, a lot of times you don’t have to play complementary football. And if you don’t have to play complementary football, then special teams typically is on the lower end of that.”
Scott punted for Alabama from 2014 through 2017, earning two CFP national championships. He left the Crimson Tide as the school’s career leader in punts, punting yards and punting average.
Scott earned first-team All-SEC recognition in 2014, 2016 and 2017, The Sporting News selected him for its All-American team in 2014 and College Football News did the same in 2017.
Scott joined Green Bay in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s entering the final season of his $2,677,556 rookie contract.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.
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6 J.K. Scott P
JK Scott: Cut loose by Green Bay
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire
Scott was waived by the Packers on Tuesday.
Scott served as the Packers' punter for three seasons after being selected by the team in the fifth round of the 2018 draft, but he finished a pedestrian 18th in yards per punt and just 28th in net yards per punt a season ago, so Green Bay decided to make a switch at the position. Corey Bojorquez will replace Scott as the Packers' punter moving forward.
Packers' JK Scott: Ready to play Week 11
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire
Scott (personal) is active for Sunday's game at Indianapolis.
The 25-year-old was added to the injury report Saturday as he didn't travel with the team due to a personal issue, but he traveled separately and is cleared to play at Indianapolis. Scott will handle punting duties for the Packers, per usual.
Packers' JK Scott: Doesn't travel with team
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire
Scott (personal) didn't travel with the team to Indianapolis and is considered questionable for Sunday's game, Wes Hodkiewicz of the Packers' official site reports.
There's still the possibility Scott travels separately to join the team, but there's a real chance he's unavailable Sunday. Drew Kaser was signed to the active roster as the potential fill-in punter against the Colts.
Packers' JK Scott: Available Monday
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire
Scott (illness) will play in Monday's game against the Falcons.
Scott popped up on the injury report after coming down with an illness Saturday. However, the team never promoted another punter to the active roster, so his status was seemingly never too much in jeopardy.
Packers' JK Scott: Dealing with illness
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire
Scott (illness) is questionable for Monday's game versus the Falcons, Wes Hodkiewicz of the Packers' official site reports.
Scott came down with an illness Saturday, and his status is uncertain for Monday. The team doesn't have another punter on the active roster or practice squad, but perhaps kicker Mason Crosby could handle those duties if necessary.
Packers' JK Scott: Pedestrian second season
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire
Scott played in all 16 regular-season games the Packers played and averaged 44.0 yards and 39.9 net yards on 77 punts.
Scott held down the punting job in Green Bay for the second straight season, but his results were unremarkable, as he finished 28th in the league in yards per punt and 24th in the league in net yards per punt. He will be the favorite to punt again for the Packers in 2020, but there's a chance he could face some competition for his spot.
Packers' JK Scott: Good to go for NFC championship
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire
Scott (illness) is active for Sunday's NFC championship versus the 49ers.
Scott was added to the injury report Saturday, but it doesn't appear to be an issue. The second-year pro has averaged 44.0 yards per punt this season.
Packers' JK Scott: Added to injury report
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire
Scott has been added to the Packers' injury report as questionable ahead of Sunday's showdown against the 49ers due to an illness.
Scott is the only punter on the Packers' roster, so a potential absence would certainly be notable. However, the severity of his illness is not known at this time, and his final status will be determined by how he is feeling closer to kickoff. The Alabama product is finishing his second year in Green Bay and averaged 44.0 yards on 77 punts this season.
Packers' JK Scott: Plays key role in victory
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire
Scott averaged 47.6 yards on nine punts in Thursday's victory over the Bears.
The Bears' defense bottled up the Packers' offense for most of Thursday's game, but Scott played a key role in the Packers regularly winning the field-position battle, constantly flipping the field and downing five punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line. His biggest kick of the night came when he unleashed a 63-yard bomb with under two minutes remaining that left the Bears needing to go 86 yards to tie the game -- a distance they were unable to cover. Scott had a so-so rookie year, but at least for one night, he showed why the Packers spent a fifth-round pick on him in 2018.
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J. K. Scott
American football player
John Kimball Scott III (born October 30, 1995) is an American footballpunter who is a free agent. He played college football at Alabama, and was selected by the Packers in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Scott attended and played high school football at Mullen High School in Denver. He received offers from Arizona, Colorado, and Notre Dame but ultimately accepted Alabama's offer. Scott converted 13 of 25 field goals with a long of 59 yards and 69 of 71-point after attempts during his high school career, he also had 4,758 kick off yards.
Scott attended the University of Alabama, where he played on the Alabama Crimson Tide football team under head coach Nick Saban from 2014 to 2017. He was a consensus first-team All-SEC selection in 2014 and was chosen as an All-American by Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and USA Today. He was also named first-team All-SEC for his performances in the 2016 season, and was part of the 2015 and 2017 Alabama Crimson Tide national championship teams.
|Alabama Crimson Tide|
Scott was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 172nd overall pick in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He was the second of four punters to be selected that year. On May 4, 2018, he signed a contract with the Packers. He made his NFL debut in the Packers' season opener against the Chicago Bears. He had four punts for 192 yards in the 24–23 victory. Overall, in his rookie season, Scott punted 71 times for 3,176 yards for a 44.73 average. In addition, Scott had one kickoff attempt for 61 yards. In the 2019 season, Scott finished with 77 punts for 3,386 net yards for a 43.97 average.
On August 31, 2021, Packers released Scott as part of their final roster cuts, after they traded for punter Corey Bojorquez.
NFL career statistics
Scott is married to Sydney Scott. They married in January 2018, and have a son who was born in November 2018. Scott is a Christian.
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- ^"JK Scott Recruit Interests". 247sports.com. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- ^"JK Scott MaxPreps Interests". Maxpreps.com. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
- ^"Alabama Crimson Tide : JK Scott". RollTide.com. Archived from the original on May 12, 2018. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
- ^"The 2014 AP All-SEC football team".
- ^"NFL Draft Prospect Profile – JK Scott". National Football League. March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
- ^"Alabama P JK Scott : 2018 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". NFLDraftScout.com. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
- ^Hodkiewicz, Wes (April 28, 2018). "Packers draft punter JK Scott in fifth round". Packers.com. Archived from the original on May 4, 2018. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
- ^"2018 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
- ^"Packers announce roster moves". Packers.com. May 4, 2018. Archived from the original on May 4, 2018. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- ^"Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers – September 9th, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- ^"JK Scott 2018 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- ^"JK Scott 2019 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
- ^"Packers announce roster moves". packers.com. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
- ^"Packers, Rams trade: Green Bay acquires punter Corey Bojorquez from Los Angeles, per report". cbssports.com. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
- ^Byington, Alex. "JK Scott out to prove his value goes beyond football". TimesDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
- ^Tolentino, Josh. "Home sweet home: Packers punter JK Scott has family ties to Wisconsin". The Athletic. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
- ^Hill, Verne (January 9, 2018). "FCA: Georgia, Alabama players share about their personal faith in Christ". WBFJ.fm. Retrieved October 2, 2020.