It’s that time of year again. Free agency is creeping up in just a couple of weeks, so before we get there, we’ll get going over the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster, position by position, making an assessment of what kind of shape they’re in, trying to figure out how they might, or should, attack the roster on that basis.
We’ll be suspending the Stock Watch series during this time, at the end of which we should have more meaningful topics to discuss once we resume, since a lot more news about free agency and its ripple effects should be current by then. In the meantime, we go back over the current makeup of the team’s roster, and assess where they are strong, or weak.
Total Positional Figure: 3
Chris Boswell: In light of his 2018 season, Chris Boswell’s performance last year is one of the more remarkable for the kicker position in recent memory. Not a lot of kickers will be given a chance to stick it out after missing 45 percent of your field goal attempts and over 10 percent of your point after attempts. But he went 29 for 31 and was perfect on extra points last season, posting the best accuracy percentage of his career.
Jordan Berry: The Steelers seem to be living in a parallel universe as it concerns the punting position. Even though Jordan Berry is putting up some of the best numbers in franchise history, they are merely middling at best as far as the standards of today are concerned. Despite starting the season well, he tailed off toward the end, and there is plenty of reason to believe his job could be contested in 2020.
Kameron Canaday: Now three years into his career with the Steelers, Canaday most likely will be here for a while, since long snappers don’t exactly move around very much. As a restricted free agent, it goes without saying that he won’t be given a tender, but likely will be retained on a veteran-minimum contract, and should be the frontrunner to retain the job even if another long snapper is brought in.
It is unlikely that we see this trio of specialists change, moving on to their fourth season together. Boswell is here to stay after rebounding from a bad year. Berry will likely be deemed to be ‘good enough’, unless they end up drafting one, which is unlikely given their limited number of draft picks. And the same will apply to Canaday. His snaps are good enough. The process of punting and kicking and all of the variables involved is just as important as the individual components, so there is a desire to keep a crew together. And Berry has been Boswell’s holder for his entire career.