Aussie young gun kicks out NFL legend

Jon Ryan makes way for Michael Dickson at Seattle.
Jon Ryan makes way for Michael Dickson at Seattle.

ROOKIE Aussie punter Michael Dickson has booted the Seattle Seahawks' longest-tenured player off the NFL team.

Jon Ryan, Seattle's punter for the past decade, was released on Tuesday after losing the head-to-head battle with talented 22-year-old Sydney-born Dickson after two pre-season games.

Dickson has been sensational in the pre-season and leads all NFL punters with an average 51.7 yards per punt.

The 36-year-old Ryan, a member of Seattle's 2014 Super Bowl winning team, is 18th on the list with an average 45.6 yards.

"I never wanted this day to come, but knew it would someday," Ryan wrote on Twitter.

Dickson, a product of Nathan Chapman's Prokick Australia, is part of a powerful wave of Australian punters who have changed US college football and the NFL.

He won last year's Ray Guy Award for top college punters after shattering records at the University of Texas.

Seattle was so impressed they moved up in this year's NFL Draft to take Dickson in the fifth round before another team selected him.

Michael Dickson in action for the University of Texas. Picture: UT Athletics Photography
Michael Dickson in action for the University of Texas. Picture: UT Athletics Photography

The Seahawks also save money by keeping the Australian rookie who signed a four-year, $3.6m contract compared to the two-year, $7.6m deal of Ryan's.

Ryan and Seahawks management agreed to part ways after it became clear Dickson had won the job and to give Ryan time to try to find another team before the regular season begins.

The Seahawks play their first regular season game on September 9 against Melbourne-born Adam Gotsis' Denver Broncos.


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