Jake Bailey blamed the Patriots' strength staff for his lousy performance last season


There is another twist is the saga between the Patriots and ex-punter Jake Bailey.

Bailey signed with the Dolphins this week, and when he met with reporters Wednesday, he blamed the Patriots’ strength and conditioning team for his lackluster performance last season.

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“A lot of it had to do with squatting a ton,” he said, via NBC Sports Boston. “I did not grow up squatting, loading my back with back squats. I didn't do it at all in college, and then I really didn't do it my first three years in the league. And I kind of tried to start something new, trying to be more a part of the program. And it just really backfired the whole season I was doing it.

“It really made my accuracy struggle, and it just was kind of a sad, sad thing to have happen.”

It’s been a rollercoaster year for Bailey. He inked a four-year, $13.5 million extension with $6.25 million guaranteed last August — quite sizable for a punter. Then he immediately started struggling.

The punter posted the second-worst net punting average in the league last year (35.3) before winding up on IR in November. That’s where Bailey remained until early January, when he was suspended under mysterious circumstances along with rookie cornerback Jack Jones.

Bailey’s camp claimed the suspension arose from disagreements about when he could return from IR. The following day — one day before New England’s season finale against the Bills — Bailey’s agent filed a grievance against the Patriots fighting his client’s “unknown suspension.”

Bailey said Wednesday his grievance with the Patriots has been resolved, and he views them as just another opponent last season.

"I haven't squatted since really Week 15 or 16 and I feel pretty good,” he said.

For what it’s worth, the Patriots’ strength coaches garnered a B+ grade in the NFLPA players’ survey — the highest mark awarded to New England, which ranked 24th out of 32 in terms of facilities provided.

The Patriots are also looking for a new punter this offseason. They released Bailey’s subpar replacement, Michael Palardy.

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