Player: Greg Warren
Position: Long Snapper
Experience: 10 Years
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
2014 Salary Cap Hit: $635,000
2014 Season Breakdown: if you’re a long snapper and there happens to be a lot of things to write about your season, that’s probably not going to be a good thing. There very rarely is anything of note worth writing about Greg Warren, who has been the Steelers’ primary long snapper since 2005 and has started all 16 games in all but two of those years.
In each of those years, of course, he suffered some nasty injuries in back-to-back seasons that limited him to a combined 21 games. Despite being 33, however, he has been generally healthy, although he did fight off a meniscus tear during the preseason, but he was ready to go by the time the regular season started.
Of Shaun Suisham’s three missed field goals on the year, only one could be partially attributed to the snap, which is by no means terrible on 32 attempts. This instance occurred at the end of the first half against the Saints, during which the Steelers asked Suisham to attempt what would have been a career-long 54-yard field goal.
Warren’s snap was low, but it appeared that the hold got the ball aligned properly enough for Suisham to get the ball off. He had the accuracy, but the ball bounced in the white underneath the crossbars, rather than going through them.
There was one other snap in the second game against the Browns that could possibly have been considered slightly high. The holder—a first-year player—was unable to get the ball down and the field goal attempt was aborted.
In truth, Warren probably isn’t anything special in comparison to other long snappers when comparing their ability to cover punts. He actually made a solo tackle this past season, however, and was credited with two assists as well, but he also ends up on the ground. But his consistency as a long snapper, allowing the Steelers to get off punts, field goals, and extra points, takes primacy, and that’s why he’s stuck around so long.
Free Agency Outlook: And that’s also why he’ll continue to stick around, because it’s not as easy to find a long snapper as you might think. Teams who have the fortune of having a decent one tend to keep them around for a while, especially considering they only demand veteran-minimum contracts.
The Steelers have brought in a couple of comparatively noteworthy rookie long snappers over the last few seasons, but none of them have ever come close to giving Warren a run for his money. There’s no reason to think that Warren isn’t re-signed to yet another one-year deal and once again easily outclasses whatever competition is brought in as a camp body, whose primary function is to assist in drills.