Player: Kameron Canaday
Position: Long Snapper
Free Agent Status: Exclusive Rights (Re-Signed)
2018 Salary Cap Hit: $720,000
2018 Season Breakdown:
There is rarely much to say about a long snapper unless bad things happen, so these tend to be brief. Unless somebody is a real specialist with regards to the mechanics of the proper function of the long snap, there isn’t much of nuance that a layman such as myself can speak to in terms of a long snapper’s play.
That includes Pittsburgh Steelers long snapper Kameron Canaday, who just completed his second season in the NFL with the team. Originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2016, he did hold the job for a few games there before he was released for performance issues.
But the Steelers brought him in in 2017 after long-time long snapper Greg Warren retired, and he competed with rookie sixth-round pick Colin Holba, winning the job, and now having retained it for two seasons.
It’s worth noting that both Chris Boswell and Jordan Berry did not have good years in 2018. Boswell, in fact, was terrible, and he nearly lost his job. Neither of them likely have much job security heading into the next season, with competition almost assuredly to be acquired for both.
But there is only very little that Canaday can be blamed for in that respect. Only perhaps one or two of Boswell’s missed attempts could even be said to have been influenced by a sub-par snap from Canaday. And nobody else, whether Danny Smith or otherwise, has faulted him.
He did, however, record three holding penalties in 2018, all of them in the two games against the Cincinnati Bengals for some odd reason. He evidently has a tendency to hold while he blocks, which is something that he needs to clean up.
Free Agency Outlook:
As indicated above, the Steelers have already re-signed Kanaday, who was an exclusive rights free agent. That is a no-brainer decision, given the low cost and risk involved. I don’t know for sure how the team feels about him—it’s not impossible that they bring in somebody to give him a meaningful challenge during the summer—but I wouldn’t think so.
One thing to consider is the fact that there will be competitions at both kicker and punter, most likely. The Steelers will want to give everybody involved equal opportunities, which means that they will have to be provided the same quality of participation from the long snapper position. Canaday is also still young and can benefit from the work. They never brought in a second long snapper last year.