Tuesday was a great day for NFL kickers, Graham Gano of the Carolina Panthers and Chris Boswell of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Gano, who many speculated would ultimately receive the franchise tag from the Panthers on Tuesday, instead reportedly signed a four-year $17 million contract of which $9 million is guaranteed. His new yearly average of $4.25 million now makes him the second-highest-paid kicker in the league behind only Stephen Gostkowski ($4.3M) of the New England Patriots.
Gano signing that deal with the Panthers is also great news for Boswell, who is expected to sign a long-term contract with the Steelers at some point during the offseason.
This past season, Gano converted a career-best 96.7 percent of his field goal attempts, going 29-for-29 inside the 50-yard line. He did miss three of his 37 extra point attempts during the season, however. Boswell, who like Gano was a Pro Bowler this past season, made 92.1 percent of his field goal attempts during the 2017 regular season while missing just two extra point attempts.
Boswell is expected to receive a second-round restricted tender from the Steelers in the coming days and that amount will be $2.914 million. After he signs that tender, the Steelers will more than likely reward Boswell with a multi-year contract after the team reports to training camp in late July. The yearly average of such a new deal for Boswell could result in him being the highest paid kicker in the league. At the very least, Boswell’s new deal might equal the one that Gano signed on Tuesday.
Boswell now has an 89.5% career field goal conversion rate and only three other kickers in NFL history have posted a higher rate in a player’s first 3 years and a minimum of 90 total attempts.