December 7, 2016

Highlighted Year: Todd Sauerbrun, 2001

Punter, Carolina Panthers

Age: 28
7th season in pro football, 1st with Panthers
College: West Virginia
Height: 5’10” Weight: 211

Sauerbrun averaged 46.2 yards on 177 punts in college, including a NCAA-record 48.4-yard average in 1994 when he was a consensus first-team All-American. He was chosen by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 1995 NFL draft and spent five years with them, although he was limited to three games in ’98 due to a knee injury, and averaged 42.2 yards on 328 punts. Sauerbrun was a second-team All-NFC choice by UPI in 1996. He spent a season with Kansas City in 2000, where he averaged 44.6 yards on 82 punts, before signing with the Panthers in 2001.

2001 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Punts – 93 [3]
Most punts, game – 10 vs. NY Jets 10/28
Yards – 4419 [1]
Average – 47.5 [1]
Best average, game – 55.8 (on 6 punts) at Washington 10/21
Punts blocked – 1 [3, tied with five others]
Longest punt – 73 yards

Attempts – 1
Yards – 0
Average gain – 0.0
TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, Sporting News
1st team All-NFC: Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Panthers went 1-15 to finish fifth in the NFC West.

Sauerbrun followed up by again leading the NFL with a 45.5-yard average in 2002 and topped the NFC for a third straight time in 2003 by averaging 44.6 yards. With exceptional leg strength, he improved on his directional punting and also in not out-kicking the coverage. However, off-field issues led the Panthers to trade him to Denver in 2005, where he averaged 43.8 yards on 72 punts. Sauerbrun received a four-game suspension in ’06 for use of illegal supplements and was cut upon his return. He spent two games with the Patriots in 2006 and returned to the Broncos in ’07, his last year in the NFL. Sauerbrun finished his pro career with the Florida Tuskers of the UFL in 2009, punting 16 times for a 36.7-yard average. Overall, he punted 889 times in the NFL for an average of 44.1 yards. His greatest success came with the Panthers, where he averaged 45.5 yards on 350 punts. In a career that came to be overshadowed by controversy, he received consensus first-team All-NFL honors twice, some first- or second-team recognition after another season, and was selected to three Pro Bowls.


Highlighted Years features players who were first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970