The Pittsburgh Steelers find that their 2016 season ended a bit prematurely, and are undergoing the exit meeting process a couple weeks sooner than they would have liked. Never the less, what must be done must be done, and we are now at the time of the year where we close the book on one season and look ahead to the next.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between Head Coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2016 season.
Player: Greg Warren
Position: Long Snapper
Experience: 12 Years
We are finally down to the exit meeting for our final starter on the roster, and we fitting end on one of the Steelers’ longest-tenured players, long snapper Greg Warren, who has been with the organization since 2005 and is one of three players on the roster to have been on the team for both of their recent Super Bowl wins.
Ever since suffering a couple of serious knee injuries in the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Warren has played in 112 consecutive games during the re gular season, and, more importantly, he has been a highly consistent and dependable long snapper, which is something that might not seem holds a great deal of value until you don’t have one.
That is precisely the reason that, now that the Steelers are out of their cap-crunching years due to the lockout several years back, Warren appears to be annually the first free agent re-signed, lately in February.
Of course, the fact that he is simply working on one-year, veteran-minimum deals makes the matter much easier, but the Steelers are still fortunate to have at their disposal a quality long snapper that is easy to work with, and easy to sign, on a yearly basis.
Warren’s veteran presence has been especially valuable in recent years during periods of instability at the kicker and punter positions. His consistency in working with Jordan Berry and Chris Boswell through their first seasons in 2015 should not go without comment, especially with Boswell, so signed four games into the season off the street.
From 2011 to 2015, Warren worked with no fewer than seven different punters. He worked with four different kickers during the 2015 season alone. He deserves an immense amount of credit for being professional in his job and making it easy for the incoming specialists to do their job without added hassle.
Warren will no doubt choose on his own when to call it a career. As for the time being, he is going to continue to operate on one-year, veteran-minimum deals until he decides to move on to something else in his life. His veteran status earns him $1 million this year, plus an $80,000 signing bonus, but the qualifying contract comes in at a reduced cap hit of just $695,000. A bargain for peace of mind at a position you would like to not have to even think about.