Matt Haack is younger and cheaper than Matt Darr.
And when he out-performed his teammate in training camp and the preseason, the Dolphins made their decision:
They will have a different punter for the third time in four years.
The Dolphins cut Darr Friday; his agent, Brett Tessler, announced the move on Twitter.
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“Miami Dolphins are releasing punter Matt Darr,” Tessler wrote. “Did a great job past 2 seasons but Dolphins save $ and Darr will be elsewhere very soon.”
The final preseason stats told the story.
Haack, a rookie out of Arizona State, averaged 46.9 yards per punt with a net of 44.3.
Darr, who was entering his third season, averaged 44.3 yards per punt, but with a much lower net (35.3).
Neither punter had a touchback.
Darr, who beat out Brandon Fields in 2015, is viewed favorably around the league; his career punts have averaged 46 yards.
Dolphins coaches have been impressed with Haack since the day he signed and knew it would be a close battle. Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi expected him to be drafted, and the organization pounced when he was not.
The move saves the Dolphins $150,000 against the 2017 cap, but will save them far more in the years to come. Darr would have soon entered free agency and gotten a sizable raise, while Haack will be cheap for at least the next three years.