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2022 Free Agents Analysis: LS Christian Kuntz – Exclusive Rights (Re-Signed)

Player: Christian Kuntz

Position: Long Snapper
Experience: 1 Year
Free Agent Status: Exclusive Rights (Re-Signed)
2021 Salary Cap Hit $660,000

2021 Season Breakdown:

At long last, we are at the end of the road in this year’s look at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ entire free-agent class, from the most prominent starters as unrestricted free agents to guys who may have never even heard of who spent the season on the Reserve/Injured List without ever even playing a snap in training camp.

We finish things off with one of the team’s newest starters, long snapper Christian Kuntz, who is a bit of a training camp veteran who finally made the team in 2021. He defeated incumbent Kameron Canaday, who was frankly never more than an average at best long snapper as the successor to the long-tenured Greg Warren.

Kuntz is an area native whose background is on defense playing on the edge, and in fact, he first came here a couple of training camps ago as an outside linebacker, even recording a sack during a preseason game.

He was back in Pittsburgh in 2020 during the regular season when the team signed him to the practice squad as an emergency long snapper, thanks to the expansion of the practice squads and the looming threat of the pandemic causing players to miss games.

Finally, back for another year in 2021, he outright won the job, along with rookie punter Pressley Harvin III unseating incumbent Jordan Berry, to shake up the specialist room. As far as Kuntz’s performance, well, at least he didn’t have any egregious botched snaps. Chris Boswell did set a new team record for the most field goals made in a single season, so it couldn’t have been all bad.

Free Agency Outlook:

Well, as you should have already read twice by now, there’s little to discuss here, as the Steelers have already re-signed Kuntz, who as a former Reserve/Future signing with no prior accrued seasons was due to be an exclusive rights free agent.

Players who are exclusive rights free agents (any player whose contract expires with the start of the new league year who has fewer than three accrued seasons) may only sign with the team who currently owns their rights provided that they are offered any qualifying contract.

As a second-year player with one year of accrued experience, Kuntz’s pay will jump up from $660,000 in 2021 (the minimum for any player with no accrued seasons in 2021) to $825,000 (the minimum for any player with one accrued season in 2022).

I wouldn’t expect that the Steelers are looking to bring in any meaningful competition for Kuntz, though they will naturally have another long snapper in camp. The fact that they will want to challenge Harvin for his position only makes it even more likely that they will want multiple long snappers on hand, and in fact they already do.

That would be Rex Sunahara, a first-year player, who was first signed by the team in early December, though he only spent a couple of days on the practice squad. Sunahara was retained on a Reserve/Future contract in mid-January even though he had not been with the team for over a month at that point, and even then had just been brought in for a couple of days.

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