The Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Tomlin wasn’t just blowing smoke when he talked about hosting a kicker try-out to either spark Chris Boswell into better production, or to find a new kicker to help the team with three games remaining in the regular season.
According to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the team hosted Kai Forbath and Matt McCrane on Wednesday:
The #Steelers flew in free-agent kickers Kai Forbath and Matt McCrane for a competition today with Chris Boswell, sources say. They just gave Boswell a four-year, $19.2 million extension in August, but he has struggled and missed both FG attempts in last week’s loss.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 12, 2018
Forbath has spent time with the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and most recently the Minnesota Vikings. In his last season with Minnesota, he played in 16 games, had one kick blocked, went 32/38 in field goals, and 34/39 on extra points.
McCrane is a rookie out of Kansas State who spent the preseason with the Arizona Cardinals, but got his only game action with the Oakland Raiders this season. This is the low down on McCrane’s season thus far:
On September 30, 2018, against the Cleveland Browns, McCrane converted three of five field goal attempts and four extra points. He converted the game winning field goal for the Oakland Raiders in his NFL debut. McCrane was waived by the Raiders on October 23, 2018 after the team signed Daniel Carlson.
McCrane was released by the Cardinals on October 30, 2018. He was re-signed to the active roster on November 17, 2018 following an injury to Phil Dawson. McCrane handled the kicking duties in the Cardinals’ 23-21 loss to the Raiders, making all three of his extra point attempts, and was waived the following day on November 19, 2018.
Will one of these kickers unseat Boswell? Or are the Steelers simply doing what they did with punter Jordan Berry earlier this season by bringing in new talent to put some pressure, and hopefully rectify the performance, of Boswell?
Only time will tell, but stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding this story as the Steelers prepare for the New England Patriots in Week 15.