The San Francisco 49ers have signed Australian punter Mitch Wishnowsky to a four-year contract extension reportedly worth $13 million ($AUD 19 million).
The multi-million dollar deal, which ties Wishnowsky to the Bay Area until 2026, makes the 30-year-old one of the highest paid Australians to ever play in the NFL.
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Wishnowsky will make almost $3 million USD per year ($AUD 4.4 million) under the terms of the agreement, with a total maximum value of $13 million.
Only Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Jordan Mailata (four years, $65 Million USD) and Seattle Seahawks punter Michael Dickson (four years, $14.7 million USD) have signed contracts worth more than Wishnowsky’s.
The former Australian rules footballer also now ranks as the seventh-highest paid punter in the NFL, with Dickson currently occupying top spot on that list.
A product of the Prokick Australia kicking and punting academy, Wishnowsky was originally selected by the 49ers in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Over the past four seasons (2019-22), he has appeared in 50 games and registered 179 punts for 7,423 yards and an average of 41.2 yards per punt, while pinning 72 of his punts inside the 20-yard line.
Wishnowsky has appeared in six postseason contests and added 22 punts for 894 net yards and a net average of 40.6 yards per punt, with 10 of his punts landing inside the 20-yard line. He was part of the 49ers team that lost Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Mitch Wishnowsky's stellar NFL career
In 2021, Wishnowsky appeared in all 17 games and registered 57 punts for 2,310 yards and an average of 40.5 yards per punt, while pinning 21 of his punts inside the 20-yard line.
Wishnowsky earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honours in Week Two and NFC Special Teams Player of the Month honors in September.
Wishnowsky’s punting prowess is not the only attribute that has earned the praise of the 49ers faithful during his time with the team.
His ability to also handle kickoff duties and deliver bone-crunching tackles when called upon is also highly regarded.
Wishnowsky has kicked off 214 times for 112 touchbacks, during his career, while delivering a couple of memorable hits to opposition players who dared return his kicks.
Last season Wishnowsky became the first Australian to ever score a point in a NFL regular season game, when he kicked an extra point against the Seahawks following an injury to the 49ers usual kicker, Robbie Gould.
Prior to being drafted by San Francisco Wishnowsky attended the University of Utah where he played three seasons (2016-18) after transferring from Santa Barbara (CA) City College in 2014.
In three seasons with the Utes, he appeared in 40 games and registered 175 punts for 8,004 yards (45.7 average), while pinning 74 of his punts inside the 20-yard line.
He was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award for the best punter in college football on three occasions, winning the title in 2016.
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