Posted Mon Oct 26th by Monty
Amid speculation after a poor showing a week ago in San Diego, Denver Broncos punter Brett Kern has indeed been waived, the team announced Monday.
Veteran Mitch Berger, who worked out for the Broncos twice this season, was signed to fill the Broncos’ punting duties. Berger (6-foot-4, 228 pounds) is a 16-year NFL veteran and two-time Pro Bowl choice (1999, 2004). He spent last season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, ranking fifth in the league in opponent punt return average (6.4 yds.).
Remarkably, this marks the Broncos’ first roster move this season, the last team in the NFL to execute a transaction since kickoff Week One.
Berger is by no means the long-term answer, but the Broncos hope he’ll be more reliable and consistent than the up-and-down Kern. Press release after the jump.
BRONCOS SIGN P MITCH BERGER; WAIVE P BRETT KERN
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos on Monday signed punter Mitch Berger, it was announced. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The club also waived second-year punter Brett Kern. Berger (6-foot-4, 228 pounds) is a 16th-year NFL veteran and two-time Pro Bowl choice (1999, 2004). He spent last season as a member of the Super Bowl-champion Pittsburgh Steelers, where he ranked fifth in the league in opponent punt return average (6.4 yds.).
Berger (6-foot-4, 228 pounds) is a 16th-year NFL veteran and two-time Pro Bowl choice (1999, 2004). He spent last season as a member of the Super Bowl-champion Pittsburgh Steelers, where he ranked fifth in the league in opponent punt return average (6.4 yds.).
Berger also spent time with Arizona (2007), New Orleans (2003-05), St. Louis (2002), Minnesota (1996-2001), Chicago (1995) and Philadelphia (1994). He ranks 19th in NFL history with a 43.0 career punting average (min. 500 punts). Since 1999, he is fifth in the NFL in both gross (43.4) and net (36.6) average (min. 500 punts).
In 177 career regular-season games, Berger has totaled 796 punts for 34,221 yards (43.0 avg.) with 76 touchbacks and 252 placed inside the 20. His career net average is 35.8 yards.
Berger has also punted in 12 postseason contests, including Super Bowl XLIII with Pittsburgh, where he has totaled 55 punts for 2,238 yards (40.7 avg.) with five touchbacks and 12 placed inside the 20.
He earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2004 as a member of the New Orleans Saints by leading the NFL with a 39.0 net average and pinning 28 of his punts inside the 20.
His other Pro Bowl honor came during the 1999 season with Minnesota, where he led the NFC and finished second in the NFL with a 44.7-yard average on 55 punts.
Berger, who was selected by Philadelphia in the sixth round (193rd overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft, was a two-year letter winner at the University of Colorado. He earned All-America honors (UPI) during his junior season in 1992 with the Buffaloes as the lone player in the top five in the nation in gross punting average (second, 47.0) and net average (second, 42.5).
In his two seasons at Colorado, he averaged 42.7 yards per punt, made 19-of-32 field goals and forced touchbacks on 114-of-184 kickoffs. He transferred to Colorado after earning honorable mention All-America honors at Tyler (Texas) Junior College.
An all-provincial punter and kicker at North Delta (Vancouver, B.C.) High School as a senior in his first season of football, Berger was born on June 24, 1972, in Kamloops, B.C., Canada.