2022 Stock Watch – K Matthew Wright – Stock Up

Now that training camp is over with the Pittsburgh Steelers back in Pittsburgh and gearing up for what they hope will be a much more productive season, it’s time to take stock of where the team stands. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of training camp and the preseason and the regular season as it plays out. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning for each one. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.

Player: K Matthew Wright

Stock Value: Up

Reasoning: Although he was already signed to the 53-man roster, Thursday’s news that Chris Boswell would be placed on the Reserve/Injured List was significant for kicker Matthew Wright. It means that he has the opportunity to be the Steelers’ kicker for the next four games—and earn at least four weeks’ worth of NFL-level paychecks in the process. The opportunity, however, is contingent upon him performing up to the task.

We don’t often spend a lot of time thinking about backup specialists because kickers and punters and long snappers aren’t often in the sorts of positions that lead to most injuries in football. Sure, players get hurt every once in a while, but more often than not, a kicker won’t see out a full 17-game season because he got cut for performance reasons, not because he got injured.

Well, things happen, and sometimes those things happen to your groin. That’s what Chris Boswell is dealing with now, to Matthew Wright’s advantage. An NFL kicker with some experience—more than a full season’s worth of games on his resume, including three with the Steelers—he has yet another shot to be noticed.

Having already done so earlier this year with a 59-yard make with the Kansas City Chiefs over a two-game stint, he now has the chance to get an extended look with the Steelers. Provided that he doesn’t blow it and make them seek another option, he will have the job for at least four weeks, if not longer, depending on Boswell’s status.

Wright does own an 87.5-percent career average on field goals, which is very respectable, going 28-for-32 overall, including 5-for-7 from 50-plus yards. That’s notable because he didn’t have that kind of range during his first stint with the Steelers. He’s been able to improve upon that, and it helps increase his odds of landing a long-term job somewhere next year. One, frankly, I thought he would have in Detroit in 2021.

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