Let’s be honest here. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been very fortunate with place kickers in recent years.
Well, let’s forget about the Josh Scobee experiment for a second and go back to the days of Jeff Reed, before the Sheetz incident. Reed, who was picked up under Bill Cowher, won the job as an undrafted kicker out of North Carolina after Todd Peterson was injured, and held the job from 2002-2010.
When Reed left the team, Shaun Suisham, the kicker who seemingly couldn’t make an extra point for both the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins, came in and reinvented his career. From 2010-2014 he was a tremendous addition to the Steelers’ roster. However, after tearing his ACL during the Hall of Fame game in 2015, the Steelers were forced to try and find another kicker and brought in Scobee. After missing crucial kicks in consecutive weeks, the team was eventually forced to find a new kicker, and like Reed before him, Chris Boswell won the job.
Since 2015, Boswell has been nothing short of spectacular for the black-and-gold, and giving him a new contract is something which could still happen before the start of the season before the team shuts down all negotiations.
With the negotiations with Le’Veon Bell now stagnant for the season, the team very well could look to Boswell as the next player they sign to a long-term deal.
This from Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
One piece of unfinished financial business before the end of training camp is for the Steelers to get Boswell’s signature on a long-term deal. He will make $2.914 million in 2018 as a restricted free agent, which ranks No. 15 among kickers. To keep him from hitting the open market in 2019, the Steelers will need to up the ante. Three examples for negotiation purposes: The Chicago Bears signed free agent Cody Parkey for four years and $9 million guaranteed. The Tennessee Titans re-signed Ryan Succop for five years and $7.5 million guaranteed, and the Carolina Panthers kept Graham Gano from hitting free agency with a four-year deal that included $9 million guaranteed.
The Steelers typically still work new contracts for players during training camp, and have gone all the way till Week 1 to get players a new contract. Last year Alejandro Villanueva and Stephon Tuitt were both given new contracts before the regular season, and the Steelers would be wise to lock up Boswell to keep No. 9 in the fold for years to come.