Cap Class: Chris Boswell

By: G.Stryker

Chris Boswell was leading the league in proficiency last year, when he earned his first Pro Bowl appearance and a shiny new contract extension.  This year he leads the league in missed kicks with 7 missed field goals and 5 missed extra points. I’ve never seen a kicker, with so many misses, still have a job in the NFL this late in the season, perhaps the decision is financial?

This year, the Steelers awarded their Pro Bowl kicker an extension worth $16.8M with a $6M signing bonus and $1.295M roster bonus.  Since the $6M signing bonus is split over 5 years, this season the prorated portion {$6M/5} equals $1.2M. Paired with his $705K salary and roster bonus (above), Boswell’s cap hit this year is $3.2M.

If Boswell is cut this season, the Steelers have to put the cap charge for the remaining prorated value of his contract, on this year’s cap.  $4.8M would be added to the cap, and he would count $8M against the cap. If the Steelers keep Boswell into next season, they can designate him a post June 1st cut and spread that number out over 2 years.  So the Steelers would have $2.4M against the cap next year, and $2.4M against the cap in 2020. Seeing that Boswell has a $2M roster bonus for next season, the Steelers will be forced to take a long look at retaining him.

The Steelers still had options, like placing Boswell on injured reserve, if they bring in a new kicker, but ultimately he must do his best kicking Tuesday to Friday, because the Steelers did not make a change when they had an open competition for the job last week.  So at this point, Steeler fans can only hope Boswell improves, because a missed kick in the playoffs can mean the difference between advancing, and going home.

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