2023 Free Agents Analysis: LS Christian Kuntz – Exclusive Rights

Player: Christian Kuntz

Position: Long Snapper

Experience: 2 Years

Free Agent Status: Exclusive Rights

2022 Salary Cap Hit: $825,000

2022 Season Breakdown:

I’m not sure even former long snappers who enter the player evaluation field spend much time talking about the performances of long snappers once they reach the NFL, quite frankly. They do spend more time talking about college players and who might have a chance of being drafted, which does happen from time to time.

Christian Kuntz was not one of those long snappers who was drafted, but he did beat out a guy who was drafted, so he has that going for him, which is nice. And he’s been on the job for two years now, even if you can’t really say that he’s done much to distinguish himself.

And really, he hasn’t. There’s nothing about his game that is particularly noteworthy. He’s not among the most consistent or accurate snappers in terms of ball placement (punter Pressley Harvin III deserves credit here), nor has he been very productive in coverage punts in spite of the fact that he has a linebacker background.

To make a long story short, there really isn’t much to say about Christian Kuntz after the 2022 season. And there probably won’t be much to say about him over the course of the next year, beyond the fact that he will be a restricted free agent in 2024. It’s unlikely they would tender him, and rather offer him a much smaller deal.

Free Agency Outlook:

I warned you that we were nearing the end here. The only guys that we have left to talk about are a pair of exclusive rights free agents who have already been re-signed. Everybody whose status for 2023 still remains up in the air has been discussed already. So this is an opportunity to explain what an exclusive rights free agent is.

An exclusive rights free agent is any player whose contract expires at the start of a new league year who has two or fewer accrued seasons of NFL experience. Players with three years of experience are restricted free agents who can be given a designated tender but are still free to field contract offers from other teams, which their original team can opt to match or take agreed-upon compensation for based on the tender level (original-round, second, or first).

Unrestricted free agents, of course, you should be most familiar with. They account for the majority of free agents, and they are players who are free to openly negotiate with any team and can sign with any team at any time after the start of the new league year.

Exclusive rights free agents have no negotiating rights if their original teams want to retain them. If the team they are under contract with offers them any contract, they have to sign it if they want to play. If the team does not offer them a contract, however, they then become a street free agent and can sign any deal with any team.

The minimum salary for an exclusive rights free agent with two years of credited experience for the 2023 season is $940,000. That’s what the Steelers signed Kuntz to, and that’s what he’ll earn in 2023, assuming he makes the 53-man roster and is on the roster for every game.

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