Punting and kicking are often mixed; however, as there are different positions on a football team for both, they can’t be the same. In this article, you’ll learn the differences between punting and kicking, why football teams often have both, which is more difficult, and which position earns more! It will be a fun read, so stick with me, and let’s start with punter vs. kicker; what’s the difference?
Generally, punting is easier, and punters are bigger and more muscular than kickers because they need more raw force on their kicks. Placekickers also called kickers, need more accuracy than punters for scoring points when kicking field goals. In addition, kickers do kickoffs to start the game.
The difference between a punt and a kickoff is that a punt can occur anywhere on the field, whereas a kickoff always occurs in the same place. Another significant difference is that punts are kicked by dropping the ball from the hands and kicked before it hits the ground, whereas kickoffs and field goals are made from the ground.
You might be asking what’s the difference between a kickoff and a field goal. The goal of kickoffs isn’t to make points but to put the ball at play at the start of each half, after a trial, and after a field goal. In contrast, a field goal is a kicker’s successful kick of the ball through the goal post, resulting in 3 points.
Check out the table below, and see whether the punter or kicker kicks punts, kickoffs, and field goals. You can also see the goals and definitions of each kick type.
|Punt||Punts||Kick by dropping|
the ball from the hands
|Kickoff||Kicks||Start the game|
|Field goal||Kicks||Score 3 points|
Why Do Football Teams Have Both Punters and Kickers?
Considering that punters and kickers kick and won’t do much more, it can be hard to understand why football teams have both. Why does one person doesen’t do both punting and kicking?
Football teams have punters and kickers because the tasks aren’t the same, so a team can maximize the player’s efficiency, performance, and success rate by having both positions. However, teams can use a single person for punting and kicking at a lower level of play.
When we consider the NFL, the most competitive level in all of football and most sports, investing in maximizing the success rate can be very beneficial. The competition is so high, so the teams will do everything to overcome the other teams, so they are closer to winning championships.
That’s why all NFL teams generally have both punters and kickers separately. In 2006, the Falcons experimented with Michael Koenen as punter and kicker. The experiment didn’t go well and was ended after just two weeks into the season because Koenen missed six of eight field-goal attempts.
On lower levels of play, there rarely are punters and kickers separately because there is no need for maximizing everything as the competition isn’t so fierce. For example, there are massive skill differences between college football teams, so it’s natural not to invest resources for training and to have two people doing almost the same thing. Yet, even most college football teams have both positions.
Can a Punter and Kicker Be the Same Player?
Because people often mix punters and kickers as the same player, but they certainly don’t raise questions. One of the most common questions I hear is whether a single person can legally be a punter and kicker?
Punter and kicker can be the same player in all levels of football, yet they often aren’t. That’s because punting requires more raw power as the goal is to kick the ball far and high. Kickers require more accuracy because their goal is to start the game and score. Thus, it’s best to have both players.
As I already mentioned, the 2006 experiment by the Atlanta Falcons didn’t go as planned, so it’s rare to see similar attempts without speaking about actually doing it successfully.
However, a great reward is accomplished if a punter and kicker are the same people. This would open up a position in the roster, giving leverage in other play areas on the team.
Do Kickers Earn More Than Punters?
The final question many people have to ask is the salaries of kickers and punters. It’s a common belief that it’s harder to be a kicker because it needs more accuracy, the mental pressure is far higher, and kickers can win matches by scoring. Are they compensated better than punters?
Generally, the top kickers and NFL kickers make more than equivalent punters. In 2022, the best kicker contract was earned by Justin Tucker, earning him 5 million dollars, whereas the top punter contact was made by Michael Dickson, earning him over 3.6 million dollars.
The same trend continues when looking at the top 10 players in both positions. In fact, the 10th best earning kicker in 2022 earns more than the 1st punter.
Examine the top 10 kickers and punters below and their contracts! You can see that kickers earn better, but both players can live high life from thereon, at least for a while.
|Kickers & Contracts||Punters & Contracts|
|1. Justin Tucker $5,000,000||1. Michael Dickson $3,675,000|
|2. Younghoe Koo $4,850,000||2. Tress Way $3,412,500|
|3. Graham Gano $4,666,667||3. Brett Kern $3,162,500|
|4. Daniel Carlson $4,600,000||4. A.J. Cole $3,,000,000|
|5. Ka’imi Fairbairn $4,412,500||5. Logan Cooke $3,000,000|
|6. Jason Sanders $4,400,000||6. Bryan Anger$3,000,000|
|7. Brandon McManus $4,300,000||7. Rigoberto Sanches $2,900,000|
|8. Mason Crosby $4,300,000||8. Bradley Pinion $2,750,000|
|9. Chris Boswell $4,201,500||9. Cameron Johnston $2,666,667|
|10. Harrison Butker $4,055,000||10. Johnny Hekker $2,540,000|
As you can see, all the top kickers earn more than the best-earning punter. However, it might be different when examining the earnings per kick, as kickers will generally kick more than punters. Anyways, that’s research for another day!
My Favorite Football Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value you can implement in your life. Finally, below you can find my favorite football equipment that I think would serve you well on the field!
- Football: I like to get quality things at once, so I don’t need to replace everything after a short while. And for that reason, Wilson “The Duke” Football is the only choice for that. You can get this authentic NFL football as an official game ball or a cheaper metallic edition version. Whichever you might choose, The Duke is the only official football in the league’s history, making it the best choice.
- Cleats: Cleats play an important role in football as they are the traction between you and the field. There is no better than the Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360, and for a good reason. The cleats feature a lightweight, short upper, supporting lacing system and a wide stud layout for fast speed and reliable traction. Oh, and all the various designs are beyond stunning!
- Gloves: No matter whether you throw or receive the ball, you can say goodbye to your performance if you don’t have proper gloves. Enter Seibetron Receiver Gloves equipped with various benefits, such as excellent grip on the fingers and palms, great durability, and a green light for machine washing!
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.