We’re about to hit the quiet part of the offseason after the Pittsburgh Steelers complete their mandatory minicamp this upcoming week, going their separate ways until the team reports to camp July 25th. Even in that “dead zone,” there’s still some story lines to follow. Le’Veon Bell’s contract situation will grab the headlines, naturally, and any other players the team decides to ink long-term before camp starts.
In a recent Steelers’ chat for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Ed Bouchette said he believes kicker Chris Boswell will get a long-term deal done. Bell, however, will not. Here’s the brief exchange.
“Black Jack Bill: Ed, as you peer into your crystal ball, will the Steelers sign Chris Boswell to a long term deal before training camp?
Ed Bouchette: I do think they will, unlike Le’Veon Bell, who I do not think they will.”
Boswell signed his one-year, $2.9 million tender back in early April. He’ll become a free agent after this season and given his success, the Steelers have every reason to opt to get a long-term deal done. A diamond in the rough only found when the Josh Scobee deal blew up in the team’s face, Boswell has been consistently excellent.
Last year, he set a team single-season record with 35 field goals, missing only three all of 2017, and connecting on all four of his attempts from 50+. He made several game-tying/game-winning plays with his toe, hitting a 33 yard field goal to knock off the Colts as time expired and doing the same two weeks later to the Packers, connecting from 53 yards out at Heinz Field, which might as well be from a mile away.
During his time as a Steeler, Boswell has made 89.5% of his field goals (85/95) and all but three of his extra points. It’s a no-brainer to try to lock him up long-term.
For Bell, Bouchette’s comments don’t come as a surprise either. The pessimism around Bell’s chances of remaining a Steeler beyond 2018 is only growing and though deadlines spur actions and it’s possible the two sides come together last minute, it’s hard to see what will make one side cave. The Steelers are only going to go so high and Bell doesn’t seem willing to give up much ground.