Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have failed to sign running back Le’Veon Bell to a long-term contract extension prior to Monday’s deadline, we’ll all sit and wait to see if any final offer numbers roll in over the course of the next 24-36 hours. While a a deal with Bell never materialized, the Steelers can now turn their full attention to getting a long-tern contract done with kicker Chris Boswell.
Boswell, who was issued a one-year $2.914 million second-round restricted free agent tender earlier this offseason, has since signed it and will now enter this year’s training camp with hopes that a long-term extension can be worked out prior to the start of the 2018 regular season.
This past March the Carolina Panthers reportedly signed kicker Graham Gano to a four-year $17 million contract of which $8 million was apparently fully 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. Because of that, one could easily speculate that Boswell will be aiming for a deal north of Gano’s and one that perhaps would make him the highest-paid kicker in the NFL.
Boswell, who was a Pro Bowler last season, made 92.1 percent of his field goal attempts during the 2017 regular season while missing just two extra point attempts. He 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.
Should, however, the Steelers ultimately fail to come to terms with Boswell on a contract extension prior to the start of the 2018 regular season, the Rice product would then become a candidate to receive the franchise tag prior to the start of the 2019 league year in March.