The Pittsburgh Steelers made a surprising transaction Friday morning and it included them releasing veteran kicker Shaun Suisham with a failed physical designation.
Suisham, who had been with the Steelers since November of 2010, missed all of last season with a knee injury that he had suffered while attempting to make a tackle in the team’s preseason opener. He was expected to be ready by the start of training camp, however, in order to compete against Chris Boswell until suffering a setback.
“Unfortunately Shaun incurred a setback in his recovery from knee surgery that won’t allow him to compete in a timely manner,” said Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert in a released statement. “Shaun has played a significant role in our success during his time in Pittsburgh. He has been the consummate professional on the field and in our community. We wish he and his family all the best in the future.”
During his career with the Steelers, Suisham made 124 of his 141 field goal attempts and all 173 extra point attempts.
Suisham was signed to a four year contract extension on August 1, 2014 worth $12.575 million and received a $2.85 million signing bonus as part of that deal. While his Friday release will save the Steelers $2.4 million in salary cap space in 2016 prior to roster displacement, the team will now incur a dead money hit of $2.206 million in 2017 as a result.
With Suisham now gone the Steelers appear to be set to go with Boswell as their kicker this season. After being signed last season prior to the team’s Week 5 game, Boswell went on to make 29 of his 32 field goal attempts and 26 of 27 of his extra point attempts.
The Steelers signed running back Brandon Johnson to fill Suisham’s spot. Johnson, who played his college football at Penn State, was invited by the Steelers to take part in the team’s rookie minicamp this year as tryout player.