Baltimore Ravens punter Sam Koch announced his retirement on Thursday, marking the end of an illustrious 16-year career.
The 39-year-old was the longest-tenured player in Ravens franchise history, playing more games in Baltimore than Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis, and Koch leaves behind a colorful legacy defined by his special teams brilliance.
Koch ended his career with an average of 45.3 yards per punt and holds nearly every punting record for the franchise. The long-time punter also happens to be the team’s all-time leader in passer rating, having completed 7-of-8 passes on fake punts for 82 yards
There is one silver lining to Koch’s retirement: Koch will reportedly stay on the team as a special teams consultant, taking rookie punter Jordan Stout under his wing.
Despite the inevitable changing of the guard, Koch will be remembered in Baltimore as a team leader and could be immortalized as a member of the Ravens’ Ring of Honor.
Baltimore Ravens bid a fond farewell to punter Sam Koch in 2022
Koch’s retirement was to be expected after the Ravens selected Stout in the 2022 NFL Draft, but fans didn’t know it would be so soon. The team saves roughly $2 million in salary cap space, which could prove useful to nabbing a free agent cornerback or wide receiver later this offseason.
The story for today, however, focuses on Koch’s remarkable career as a Raven and how Baltimore will miss his consistency and his locker room presence in the coming years.
Koch has served as Justin Tucker’s trusty right hand man, and the two special teams studs have cemented an irreplaceable bond that will hopefully last long after football.
The only Ravens player from the 2012 Super Bowl team currently under contract is Tucker, who had some tear-jerking words to say about Koch’s departure from football:
Rarely do punters receive such love and appreciation from their franchise, but Koch made an indelible mark in Baltimore over the past decade and a half and will be difficult to replace.
Jordan Stout has some pretty big shoes to fill in 2022.