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Giants claim punter Johnny Townsend off waivers from Raiders

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Los Angeles Rams v Oakland Raiders Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images

Many wondered how Johnny Townsend stayed employed by the Raiders for over a year. The Giants apparently weren’t among them because they claimed Townsend off waivers today.

After getting beaten soundly by undrafted rookie AJ Cole, Townsend will compete with incumbent punter Riley Dixon.

Townsend was 32nd in the NFL in punt average (43.2) last season while Dixon was 11th (45.4). Dixon was also 7th in net averaged (41.8) while Townsend was 30th (38.3). Where the Giants would probably like to improve is in punts stopped inside the 20. Dixon had just 20 last season (26th) which is still three better than Townsend’s 17 (28th).

Basically it comes down to Townsend being a rookie fifth round pick last season, so the Giants want to see if maybe he has made some improvements and can live up to his draft status. Most of his punts in the Raiders’ first preseason game were not great, but he did boot a 55-yarder and that may have been enough to earn him another look.