The Pittsburgh Steelers have re-signed punter Jordan Berry to a two-year deal, according to a release the team tweeted out moments ago. They also officially announced the Anthony Chickillo deal.
Terms of Berry’s contract were not immediately released. Chickillo reportedly signed a two year deal worth up to $8 million, choosing Pittsburgh over New England, who sent a similar offer.
While 2018 wasn’t Berry’s finest year, he bettered his 2017 numbers, finishing with an average of 43.7 yards per punt. He’s served as the Steelers’ punter for four seasons. His best year came in 2016 when he averaged 45.6 yards per punt. Signing with the team out of Eastern Kentucky, he beat out Brad Wing for the job and has remained the starter ever since. While he received some quality competition from Matt Wile, who went on to play for Minnesota, last year, Pittsburgh ultimately chose Berry.
Though his numbers don’t look great, the fact the team prefers a more direction punting approach, valuing location and hang time over distance, hurts his overall average. He’s also done well with his placement and ability to pin teams inside the 20.
The punt coverage team will have to improve drastically though in 2019. Berry ranked near the bottom of the league in net average and the Steelers allowed the most yards per punt return in the NFL. He finished with a net of 38.8 yards, a full yard worse than 2017, ranking just 26th among all qualified punters.