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.
The Steelers are likely to be subject to more change than they are used to this year, with 19 players scheduled to be unrestricted free agents, including numerous starters. Two other important players have retired, so there is more shuffling of the deck than normal in Pittsburgh.
Total Positional Figure: 5
Chris Boswell: Boswell has been with the team for several years now, and has been not only the most accurate kicker in team history, but among the most accurate in NFL history. He currently ranks fourth all-time with a fair lead over fifth place.
Jordan Berry: Considering he didn’t make the initial 53-man roster, replaced by Dustin Colquitt, it’s fair to say the Steelers may be in the market to replace Jordan Berry, even though they brought him back after Colquitt struggled.
Kameron Canaday: Canaday is a relatively unremarkable long snapper, though few are. Still, he gets noticed a time or two too often during the season for a shaky snap or a penalty.
Corliss Waitman: A specialist capable of punts and kicks, he spent the season on the practice squad, but was evidently viewed as a punter. When they needed a kicker, they brought in Matthew Wright.
Christian Kuntz: A linebacker and long snapper, Kuntz has been in camp with the team a couple of times. He spent time on the practice squad last year as protection against the even that Canaday were to be subject to Covid-19, or otherwise unavailable, due to the five-day window that was required to bring somebody in for testing.
Matthew Wright: A former undrafted free agent who spent time in the XFL last year, Wright was originally signed after the 2019 draft but didn’t stick round. He was brought back in November of last year after Boswell was injured, and ended up being elevated for three games. He finished the season going 4-for-4 on field goals and 7-for-7 on extra points, though his kickoffs left something to be desired. The Lions signed him to a futures deal and he is currently there.
Obviously, the Steelers could be looking at punters this year, and it’s even possible they might use a draft pick on one, though I feel at this point they are probably settled on their kicker and long snapper positions, but it never hurts to challenge Canaday, who doesn’t boast the sort of stability Greg Warren had.
As far as bookkeeping goes, there is a fair chance the team will eventually approach Chris Boswell about restructuring his deal to move base salary into a signing bonus in order to trim a bit of cap savings, but that would be a minor move.