Player: Kameron Canaday
Position: Long Snapper
Free Agent Status: Restricted
2019 Salary Cap Hit: $720,000
2019 Season Breakdown:
Arguably the best thing that can be said about Kameron Canaday is that his name doesn’t come up too much. While he hardly ever records a tackle (he was one of few long snappers last season who had zero), he gets called for the occasional penalty, and not every one of his snaps are right on the nose, he has done a good enough job over the course of his three years in Pittsburgh.
Originally signed to provide competition to a rookie draft pick after their long-time long snapper was forced into retirement due to health reasons, Canaday was somewhat of a surprise when he ended up making the 53-man roster, but he has stuck around for the past three seasons.
After registering three holding penalties in 2018, amazingly, all three of them coming against the Cincinnati Bengals, Canaday was only penalized once last season, and that was for a false start call that itself was pretty questionable.
Free Agency Outlook:
I hope that it goes without saying that the Steelers will not be giving out a restricted free agent tender of over $2 million to a long snapper who made less than half of that. His career earnings, in fact, come to under $2 million.
That said, the team will still need to re-sign him. This is actually the first time in a while that the Steelers have dealt with a situation at the long snapper position like this, because their previous long snapper, Greg Warren, who somebody who played from year to year.
For the longest time, the Steelers would simply re-sign Warren to one-year veteran-minimum qualifying contracts, and that would be enough for both sides. They haven’t worked out a long-term extension with a long snapper in quite a while.
And so the question becomes, is Canaday worth a more long-term commitment? Truth be told, long snappers are not exactly expensive. The highest per-year average cap figure for a long snapper right now still comes in at under $1.3 million, though there are 18 long snappers who are making $1 million or more per season.
As long as you have a decent one, it’s always worth keeping a long snapper around if they’re not pushing the salary scale up. Because you’ll notice far more if you don’t have a decent long snapper than you would if you do. And you don’t want to be caught without one. Right, James Harrison?
Colin Holba is under contract with the New York Giants, in case you were wondering.