Saturday, April 18, 2009

Punter From Down Under: Miami Dolphins sign Australian Jy Bond

Looking to bring in some competition for incumbent punter Brandon Fields, the Dolphins have gone down under to bring in Australian footballer Jy Bond.

Bond, 30, is the son of former Australian footballer Graeme Bond, and was drafted by his father's Richmond Tigers under the father-son rule. (No idea what that means. If someone has more info on how this all works, I'm not very familiar with it so feel free to let me know anything I might not understand!)

Bond has only played for the Tigers' reserve teams (again, no idea what that means), but has spent the past three years training to become an NFL punter. He will attempt to follow in the footsteps of Australian-to-gridiron players like Darren Bennett, Sav Rocca and Ben Graham.

It's no surprise to see the Dolphins bring in some competition as Brandon Fields finished last season 18th in punting average and 27th in net average.

Granted, those poor numbers are not entirely Fields' fault, as the Dolphins' special teams unit struggled mightily in the first half of the season. However, in two seasons with the Dolphins Fields hasn't really played up to his ability.

Bond reportedly offers very impressive hang time, which would allow the special teams unit more time to get downfield and greatly cut down on long returns. He should have every chance to beat out Fields for a job, though it's impossible to know at this point just how good he will be.

Bond received a two-year contract with the Dolphins containing base salaries of $310,000 in 2009 and $395,000 in 2010.