The 49ers signed punter Mitch Wishnowsky to a four-year contract extension on Friday, according to a team release. Wishnowsky was in the final year of his rookie contract but is now under the organization’s control through 2026. Financial terms of the deal have not yet been released.
The Niners drafted Wishnowsky in the fourth round of the 2019 draft out of Utah. Wishnowsky grew up playing Australian Rules Football but was forced to quit after repeated shoulder injuries in his teenage years. In 2013, he decided to quit his job and enroll at Prokick Australia, a training center dedicated to helping Australian Rules players convert to punters and kickers, which eventually earned him a scholarship at Utah.
In four seasons with the 49ers, Wishnowsky has been a consistent punter and handled kickoff duties, although kicker Robbie Gould is kicking off this season. Wishnowsky has been a consistently average specialist for the Niners. Over his NFL career, Wishnowsky is averaging 45.5 yards per punt. He has twice been named the league’s special teams player of the week.
Wishnowsky has always prioritized limiting opponents' returns. Out of 35 punters with at least one punt per game last year, he ranked 16th in the percentage of his kicks that pinned opponents inside their 20, 22nd in average yards per punt, and 18th in average net yards per punt, but opponents returned his kicks at the sixth-lowest rate in the league and only managed the eighth fewest return yards per punt against Wishnowsky’s kicks.
Wishnowsky has been one of the lowest-paid punters in the league over the past few years. He is currently making a $965,000 base salary this season with a cap hit of just over $1.15 million. Seahawks punter Michael Dickson is currently the highest-paid punter in the NFL with a contract worth more than $3.6 million a year. However, Wishnowsky’s new deal will likely fall somewhere between $1.5 million and $3 million in average annual value.