American Football Database
Sean Landeta
No. 5, 7     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1962-01-06) January 6, 1962 (age 60)
Place of birth: Baltimore, Maryland
Career information
College: Towson
Undrafted in 1983
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Philadelphia Stars (19831984)
Career highlights and awards
* 3x First Team All Pro Selection (1986, 1989, 1990)
Punts     1,401
Punting yards     60,707
Punting average     43.3

Sean Edward Landeta (born January 6, 1962) is a former American football punter who played in both the United States Football League and the National Football League. Landeta played 22 seasons in the National Football League for five different teams between 1985 and 2006. Landeta was named to the 1980s All-Decade Team as the first punter and the 1990s All-Decade Team as the second punter, as chosen by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee members.[1]

High school career

Landeta grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. Landeta originally began kicking as a nine-year-old, after watching Jim O'Brien of the Baltimore Colts kick the game-winning field goal in Super Bowl V against the Dallas Cowboys. At Loch Raven High School in Towson, Maryland, Landeta was an All-City and All-Metro punter in his only season (1978). Landeta kicked a 41-yard field goal on his first attempt in his first game. His longest punt was 76 yards, which still stands as a school record. He first began playing organized football as a high school senior.

College career

Before his pro career, he played college football at Towson University in 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982. He started as a freshman for Towson at the age of 17. He led the nation in punting (NCAA Division II) in 1980 and was named First-Team All American in 1982 (NCAA Division II). Landeta booted a school record 72-yard punt in 1981 and hit the school record 57-yard field goal in 1980. He became the only player in NCAA history to lead the nation in punting and field goals in the same season (1980).

Professional career

Landeta played almost half of his career for the New York Giants, where he won two championship rings in Super Bowl XXI and Super Bowl XXV. He also played for the Rams, Buccaneers, Packers and Eagles. Landeta led the NFL in punts with 107 in 1999, led the NFL in gross punting in 1994 with a 44.8 average, led the NFL with a 37.8 net average in 1989, and led the league with 24 punts inside the 20 in 1990.

Landeta was the last active NFL player who played in the United States Football League in the 1980s, punting for the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars in all three of the USFL's seasons. Landeta was named as the punter to the All-USFL team in 1983 and 1984. The Stars won two USFL championships in 1984 and 1985.

Upon the USFL's folding, Landeta joined the NFL's New York Giants, winning two Super Bowls in 1986 and 1990 in his nine seasons with the team (he would return in 2006, in what would be his last season as an active player). He then played for the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams from 1993–1996. He re-joined the Rams for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, giving him six years with the organization. After spending one season (1997) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he moved on to play for the Green Bay Packers in 1998. In 1999, he signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent five seasons with the Eagles where he became the oldest punter in NFL history at the age of 44.

Other career highlights include being the first punter in NFL history to average more than 50-yards per punt in a game in three different decades. In 1994, Landeta led the NFL in punting with a 44.8-yard average playing for the Los Angeles Rams. He also recorded the longest punt in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history, with a 74-yarder in 1997 in a game against the New York Jets. As a member of the Green Bay Packers, he set a club record for the highest net punting average and most punts inside the 20 in team history (since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970). As a member of the Eagles, Landeta set the NFL's all-time record for number of punts in a career, punting yardage and punts inside the 20 during the 2001 season.

By the time Landeta retired, he had amassed 1,401 punts for 60,707 yards (43.3 yards per punt average), with 381 punts inside the 20 and a 35.3 net average. His punts, punting yards, and punts landing inside the 20 were either first or second in NFL history at the time of his retirement. Landeta was also the longest tenured punter in NFL history and is still the oldest punter to ever appear in an NFL game. In addition, Landeta became the first punter in NFL history to earn a $1 million annual salary. Landeta was also named to ESPN's list of 50 All-Time Greatest New York Giants players.

On March 6, 2008, the 25th anniversary of Landeta's first game in the USFL, he officially announced his retirement from professional football.

NFL Records

  • Shortest punt in NFL history (regular season or playoffs); -7 yards, January 5, 1986

Post-playing career

In September 2005, Landeta was elected to the Towson University Hall of Fame.

In November 2006, Landeta was elected to the NCAA Division II College Football Hall of Fame.

In May 2009, Landeta was elected to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in Philadelphia.

In September 2011, Landeta was elected to the inaugural Loch Raven High School Hall of Fame Class.

In November 2011, Landeta was elected to the State of Maryland Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2010, Landeta became eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and appeared on the ballot for the first time.

Landeta works with the Eagles and Giants organizations, appearing at pre-season and regular season functions as an alumnus of both NFL teams. He is also active in media, working for CBS Radio and FOX Television. He also has worked with Comcast and worked as a sideline reporter for Westwood One Radio. In addition, Landeta has also spoken and appeared on numerous radio and television shows throughout the country.

See also