With Chris Boswell due a roster bonus worth $2 million from the Pittsburgh Steelers just days after the start of the new league year on March 13, there are some who believe the team could be better served moving on from their kicker before that date after a disastrous 2018 season.
Having signed a four-year $16.8 million extension with the Steelers last August, expectations were high for their Pro Bowl kicker heading into the season. But while Boswell would struggle to find any semblance of form all year long, it would appear that the team is not ready to give up on him quite yet.
When speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Kevin Colbert's remarks were not just limited to Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, with the general manager also spending some time to address the team’s plan for Boswell in 2019. As reported by Steelers.com.
“The drop off of Chris Boswell was surprising, disappointing, and this is something that Chris shares with us, like we share with him. We believe that Chris Boswell has the ability to do better than he did. He’s already proven that. He set a standard for himself in 2017 as a Pro Bowl player, and last year statistically he was one of the worst kickers, that’s a huge drop off.”
“But as a young player, we also believe that he can found his way out of that and we will support him in that attempt. Does that mean he won’t have competition? Absolutely not.”
With Matt McCrane already under contract for this season, he will be an obvious part of that competition, but Colbert did not discount adding another kicker to the mix. As per Jacob Klingler of Penn Live.
“Could we add another young player into that mix? Sure, there will be competition for Boz.”
By the time training camp rolls around, Boswell will have already accounted for $3.2 million against the cap, a figure Pittsburgh would not be able to avoid at that point. Should he lose his camp battle to another kicker, the Steelers would only save $1 million in salary cap if he was released, but also have $3.8 million in dead money to account for in 2020.
If Boswell had been released with a post-June 2 designation in March, Pittsburgh would have saved $3 million in 2019, with $1.2 million in dead money this year and $3.8 million the year after.