Steelers Chris Boswell is as deserving of a new contract as anyone
By Tommy Jaggi
In the midst of Steelers contract extension talks, it’s important that we don’t forget about Pittsburgh’s Pro Bowl kicker, Chris Boswell.
We are about to enter the longest stretch without any notable dates of the football calendar year — the gap between the end of mandatory minicamp and the start of NFL training camps. This is the time of year when teams scour the market for leftovers in free agency as they set their sights on the upcoming season.
It’s also a time when many teams start to hand out contract extensions to players they don’t want to hit the market the following offseason. Steelers fans are well aware that we are in the thick of this season.
Since the buzz of the NFL Draft has died down, all of the talks in Pittsburgh has surrounded the possible contract negotiations of Diontae Johnson and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Johnson is coming off a 100-catch, 1,000-yard season in a wild wide receiver market, while Fitzpatrick is a two-time First-Team All-Pro safety who wants to be paid like the best in the league at his position.
These two young, talented football players are going to get their money eventually. But one name we fail to mention in contract extension talks is former Pro Bowl kicker, Chris Boswell.
Steelers kicker deserves a big extension
Like Johnson and Fitzpatrick, Boswell is entering the final year of his contract, and he’s a player the Steelers can ill-afford to part with at this point in time. After a remarkable Pro Bowl season in 2017 in which Boswell converted 92.1 percent of his field goals, he was awarded a lofty 4-year contract extension.
This was a move that fans soon regretted. After signing his new deal, Boswell hit a terrible slump in 2018 — making just 65 percent of field goal attempts. His kicking was so unreliable this year, that fans were begging Pittsburgh’s offense to stay on the field and go for it on fourth down.
Because of the money that was tied into him, the Steelers would have taken a huge dead money loss if they attempted to get rid of him, and cutting him wasn’t an option. This obviously proved to be for the best.
Immediately following his poor 2018 season, Boswell quickly returned to form and has now strung together three straight seasons with a field goal percentage of at least 90.0 percent, via Pro Football Reference. At this rate, he could become one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history.
Yet, despite his success, Boswell’s contract doesn’t seem to be at the forefront of media circles. Have we forgotten the value of a great kicker and how many times he has bailed us out of trouble?
With respect to his position, I could argue that Boswell has been even better than Johnson and Fitzpatrick. While Diontae and Minkah are both considered very good players for their respective positions, Boswell has undeniably been a top-three kicker in the NFL over the past three years. In fact, he may be second only to the best kicker in NFL history: Justin Tucker.
Boswell is set to have a base salary of just $3.26 million this year with a cap number of $4.94 million, according to Over the Cap. Currently, the highest-paid kicker in the league is Tucker at $5 million in annual money. However, his contract extension happened three years ago in 2019, so it’s very possible that Boswell’s new contact would top this.
Still, you can’t underestimate the value of a great NFL kicker. Despite a lackluster offense over the past several years, Boswell’s accuracy and ability to kick from distance have helped the Steelers stay competitive in most games. Just like Minkah Fitzpatrick and Diontae Johnson, Chris Boswell deserves his bag as much as anyone.