When it comes to job applicants and resumes, it’s always a bit of a red flag when a guy hasn’t been able to hold down a job very long in the past.
Enter punter Matt Wile.
Wile first entered the league in 2015, as an undrafted free agent, which is normal for a punter. But here is his history since entering the league:
May 8, 2015: Signed by Carolina Panthers.
June 10, 2015: Waived by Carolina Panthers.
August 17, 2015: Re-signed by Carolina Panthers.
August 30, 2015: Released by Carolina Panthers.
Did not play in 2015-16 season.
March 31, 2016: Signed by Dallas Cowboys
September 3, 2016: Released by Dallas Cowboys.
November 22, 2016: Signed by Atlanta Falcons.
Had two punts in one game for the Falcons.
November 29, 2016: Released by the Atlanta Falcons.
December 6, 2016: Signed to Arizona Cardinals practice squad.
December 13, 2016: Promoted to Cardinals active roster.
Had 10 punts - one of which was blocked - over 3 games with Arizona.
September 4, 2017: Released by Arizona Cardinals.
Did not play in 2017-18 season.
January 19, 2018: Signed reserve/futures contract with Pittsburgh Steelers.
September 2, 2018: Released by Pittsburgh Steelers.
So, the Vikings are now Wile’s sixth team in a little over three years. He’s had four full off/pre-season chances with four different teams and they all let him go. And he was a one week temp for Atlanta.
In total, he’s had 12 punts in four regular season games, with one blocked.
That’s not really good.
Granted, punters bounce around the league more than players at other positions, but still there is something a little disconcerting about Wile’s job history.
Why didn’t any other team keep him? He supposedly has a big leg, and his stats generally point to a pretty good punter - 4.52” average hangtime and 46.3 yard average (40.8 net) over four preseasons. And his stats have actually improved some over time.
And yet he hasn’t won a job - until now it seems with the Vikings.
Second Best Punter in Preseason According to PFF Ratings
It’s interesting also that despite punting for a 49.0 yard average (48.9 net), and with a 4.74 average hangtime, second-best in the league in the preseason and well outperforming Pittsburgh’s other punter in all those measures, the Steelers released him. The fifth team to do so.
Wile must have been thinking to himself what more do I have to do to get a job in the NFL?
29 teams passed on him ahead of the Vikings on the waiver wire too. And then the Vikings released Ryan Quigley and signed him to be their punter this year.
It’s been a pretty disappointing NFL career so far for Wile, but hopefully he’ll do a good job and finally stick with the Vikings for years to come. For now he’s on a one-year prove-it deal with an ERFA option next year.
But why he hadn’t stuck with a team already, given his performance, is a bit strange.