The Indianapolis Colts announced on Saturday that the team has signed punter Michael Palardy ahead of Sunday’s preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers as part of Hall of Fame weekend.
Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Oakland Raiders in 2014, Palardy has also spent time with NFL organizations such as the St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers, and most recently during this year’s training camp before being waived on August 3rd, the Baltimore Ravens.
As a former punting standout with the University of Tennessee, Palardy was a member of ESPN’s 1st-Team All-SEC team and SEC Coaches 2nd-Team All-SEC in 2013, having handled all 3 kicking phases for the Volunteers during his senior season. During his final collegiate year, Palardy led the league with 33 punts that landed inside the 20-yard line.
Palardy also ranks 2nd in Volunteers history with a 42.9 yards average per punt.
This appears to be nothing more than a depth signing, as Palardy can theoretically provide an extra training camp leg for relief of punter Pat McAfee, as well as placekicker Adam Vinatieri in a pinch.
With the Colts not expected to play their starters very much on Sunday, the team could pull McAfee and even Vinatieri early, which means that Palardy could see an ample number of kicks coming his way.
It’s a chance for Palardy to showcase his talents, while the Colts can avoid injury to their key special teams legs. Make no mistake about it though, neither McAfee nor Vinatieri are going anywhere.
However, as Philadelphia Eagles placekicker Cody Parkey showed in 2014, kicking for the Colts in training camp and in preseason, all one needs is an opportunity to audition for perhaps other NFL teams.
Palardy now receives such exposure with the Colts, while the team benefits from the additional depth.