New England Patriots work out Stampeders’ punter Cody Grace

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The New England Patriots worked out Calgary Stampeders’ punter Cody Grace on Wednesday.

A first-round pick in the 2021 Global Draft, Grace has quickly established himself as one of the CFL’s best specialists, earning West Division all-star status in each of his first two seasons. He one-upped himself in 2022 and was selected to the CFL all-star team, becoming the first Global player to ever receive either honour.

Limited to 15 games last season due to injury, the 26-year-old punted 82 times for a gross average of 48.2 yards per kick, recording just three singles. He played all 14 games as a rookie in 2021, punting 78 times for a gross average of 45.6 yards and no singles

The native of Perth, Australia attended Arkansas State from 2017 to 2019, averaging 42.1 yards on 178 career kicks. He was a semi-finalist for the Ray Guy Award in 2017 and a first-team All-Sunbelt selection in his final season.

In related news, the Philadelphia Eagles worked out fellow Global punter James Smith on Wednesday, who replaced Grace with the Stampeders while he recovered from a hamstring injury.

Originally signed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders as a free agent, the Australian was traded to Calgary and posted a gross average of 44.2 yards on 18 punts during three games with the team. He was traded back to Saskatchewan following Grace’s return and placed on the practice squad, before being released in July.

Smith played 49 games over four NCAA seasons (2017-2020) at the University of Cincinnati, becoming UC’s all-time leading punter and a four-time all-conference player. He was named a Ray Guy Award finalist in 2018.