Player: Kameron Canaday
Position: Long Snapper
Free Agent Status: Exclusive Rights – Re-Signed
2017 Salary Cap Hit: $630,000
2017 Season Breakdown:
The Steelers last offseason suddenly found themselves in the position of searching for a new long snapper after learning that their long-time veteran at the position, Greg Warren, was likely to have to retire due to complications stemming from knee injuries of years past.
That process started with the signing of Kameron Canaday to a Reserve/Future contract around this time last year, but he was released soon after they drafted Colin Holba. Holba was anointed the future starter as soon as he was drafted—that is, after all, what you do when you draft a long snapper—but Canaday would end up winning the job.
He was re-signed at the end of May and competed with Holba throughout training camp and the preseason, ultimately winning the job. He won the job for the Cardinals the year before but was released after three games and two errant snaps.
Fortunately, he did not have any errant snaps in 2017, at least if you define an errant snap as one that is a cause for a botched punt or kick, or a block. He did, however, receive a penalty for a delay of game, which forced the Steelers to choose to punt rather than attempt a long field goal.
The Steelers spoke about wanting a big body at the long snapper position after they drafted Holba, by Canaday fits that bill as well at 6’4” and 245 pounds, essentially the size of an outside linebacker. Now that he has a season under his belt, hopefully he continues to develop.
Free Agency Outlook:
Stability at the long snapper position is often overlooked simply because of the ease with which it can be taken for granted. Steelers fans were not thrilled with the team’s extent to which it attempted to address its sudden hole at the position with the necessary retirement of Warren, which resulted in the drafting of Holba.
While Holba proved to be a disappointment for failing to make the roster over Canaday, the reality is that Canaday, by all appearances, had a perfectly fine season, as attested to above, and it will ideally be just the beginning of another long-term relationship for a position that you would much prefer never to have to think about.
Given that he has only one year of accrued experience, however, there is no necessity to attempt to ‘lock him up’, as he is readily under their control for the next couple of years. He was re-signed as an exclusive rights free agent to a one-year contract for the veteran minimum.
However, that does not mean that the Steelers will refrain from attempting to provide him with a legitimate challenger. I wouldn’t count on them drafting another long snapper this year, though, so you can come down from the bridge now.