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Sam Koch announces his retirement

With the dust settled from the 2022 NFL Draft, Mike Florio and Chris Simms select which last-place teams from the 2021 NFL season could bounce back the strongest in 2022.

After 16 seasons, the Ravens will officially have a new punter in 2022.

Sam Koch is retiring, Baltimore announced on Thursday afternoon. But he’s not going far, as he’ll stay with the organization as a special teams consultant on the coaching staff.

Koch was a sixth-round pick in 2006 and played in a franchise-record 256 games. He was the punter and holder for 239 consecutive contests before missing a contest in 2020 while on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

“I owe much of my success over the last 10 years to Sam, and many Ravens’ victories over the last 16 years are very much because of Sam’s efforts,” Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker said in a statement. “He is an outstanding teammate and leader in our locker room, and like many great Ravens before him, he has been essential to defining our culture as a team. Sam changed the way everyone in the football world looks at punting, and his consistency and proficiency are unmatched throughout the history of our game.”

Koch averaged 45.3 yards per punt over his 16 seasons. He was a Pro Bowler in 2015 and a second-team All-Pro in that same year.

The Ravens have a potential replacement already on their roster, as they drafted Jordan Stout out of Penn State in the fourth round of this year’s draft. That selection indicates the team may have had an inkling Koch’s career was coming to an end.