When the Pittsburgh Steelers spent a draft pick on a punter, it signaled immediate notice that long-time punter Jordan Berry’s days could be numbered as one of the team’s specialists. That was confirmed on Monday after practice, when it was reported that the Steelers were releasing Berry for the second time, after six seasons with the team.
Source: #Steelers are releasing punter Jordan Berry after six seasons with the team. Rookie Pressley Harvin III won the job.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 30, 2021
The release leaves the Pittsburgh Steelers with a $100,000 dead money hit on the team’s cap.
Berry, an Australian out of Eastern Kentucky, joined the Steelers in 2015 as an undrafted free agent. He performed well enough as a rookie in camp to convince the Steelers to trade incumbent starter Brad Wing to the New York Giants, and Berry held the team’s job without incident until 2020.
Pittsburgh released a struggling Berry in favor of veteran Dustin Colquitt that season, before bringing him back. He played 11 games total that year, and 91 in his career.
Berry punted the ball 385 times for the Steelers during his career, for a career average of 44.4 yards per punt. He leaves the team holding the top three single-season marks in both average yards per punt and average net yards per punt. In his career, he put 154 punts inside the opponent’s 20, against 20 total touchbacks and one blocked punt. Despite the team records, he finished at or below the league average during much of his career.
With six seasons in the NFL, Berry is not subject to waivers like most of the players released around the league today and tomorrow. As a vested veteran, he is free to sign with any team.
Rookie Pressley Harvin III out of Georgia Tech, drafted in the seventh round this year, will step in as the Steelers’ new punter. He won the Ray Guy Award as college football’s best punter this past season, and is the first punter the team has spent a draft pick on since Daniel Sepulveda in 2007.
Harvin slightly out-performed Berry in camp practices, according to statistics kept by our own Alex Kozora, and made an instant impact during the preseason by sticking three of his four punts inside the 20 during the Hall of Fame Game against the Dallas Cowboys (including one at the one-yard line), and having the fourth punt result in a muff and Steelers recovery.