Nearly every NFL team will conduct organized team practice activities, or OTAs, this week. OTAs are the third and final phase of the voluntary nine week offseason program. Currently, nine teams have two snappers on their 90-man rosters. The Ravens, Bears, Browns, Cowboys, Chiefs, Vikings, Seahawks, Rams and Buccaneers all have two snappers.
Two additional snappers earned a mini-camp invite after the Draft. Avery Rigg had a try out with the Bengals and Jake Edmiston earned one with the Chiefs. Neither snapper was signed.
Yesterday, the NFL approved a proposal to change the rule on extra point attempts. Instead of a kick from the two-yard line, kicks will now take place from the 15-yard line. Two point conversions will still be taken from the two, but now defenses can return a two-point attempt and blocked extra points can also be returned for two points.
The rule, which passed 30-2 with only Oakland and Washington voting against it, is just for the 2015 season. As such, more changes could be made in the future.
This week is the NFL’s annual spring meeting and three proposals for adjusting point attempts after a touchdown will be considered. After initially discussing changes at the March meeting, the proposals will be reviewed this week and 24 of 32 votes will be needed for approval. The proposals were submitted by the Eagles, Patriots and the NFL Competition Committee.
All three plans maintain the PAT kick, but each calls for the attempt to be taken from the 15 yard line instead of the two. The proposals vary on the two point conversion and where those are to be taken from on the field.
The last NFL teams concluded mini-camps this past weekend. To date, just one tryout snapper, Tyler Ott, has signed a contract. Ott, who has prior experience with the Patriots, signed with the Rams after his tryout last weekend.
At least a more snapper, Dex Dellenbach, can be added to the list of snappers who received a tryout. Dellenbach, who also has NFL camp experience, had a tryout with the Titans.
Most of the NFL teams conducted rookie mini-camps this weekend and some additional snapper names have surfaced as having earned tryouts. Of the names below, only John Shepardson was eligible for the NFL Draft this year. The rest have NFL camp experience. Prior to the start of the Steelers mini-camp this weekend, they waived Brandon Hartson after recently claiming him off waivers from the Chiefs.
Giants: Luke Ingram
Indianapolis: Chad Rempel
Jacksonville: P.J. Mangieri
Oakland: John Shepardson
St. Louis: Tyler Ott
With one snapper drafted and four signing contracts right after the Draft, still other snapping prospects are being given opportunities to impress at rookie mini-camps over the next two weekends.
Unfortunately, many teams do not release information about tryout players. However, my own research has found the names of over 10 snappers who have been given tryouts. Below is a list of names and teams. All of the names are from this year’s Draft class and at least two snappers have been invited to more than one mini-camp.
Buffalo: Sam Rodgers
Carolina: Charlie Coggins/Grant Donovan
Denver: Harrison Barnes
Detroit: Trever Kruzel
Green Bay: Thor Hadfield
Houston: Chris Highland
Minnesota: Jesse Schmitt
New Orleans: Chris Highland
Jets: Drew Ferris
Pittsburgh: Matt Dooley
Tampa Bay: Casey Freeman
Washington: Grant Donovan
Rookie mini-camps start this weekend and, in preparation, some teams have made roster moves. A couple of today’s transactions implicated the snapping position. The Chiefs waived Jorgen Hus, leaving James Winchester and rookie free agent Andrew East on the roster. The Patriots also waived Tyler Ott, which makes draft pick Joe Cardona the only snapper on the roster.
It was also announced today that Bruce DeHaven, who recently became the special teams coach for the Panthers, is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence. DeHaven took over this off-season for Richard Rodgers who was recently reassigned to another position on Carolina’s staff. Veteran special teams coach Russ Purnell will take over in DeHaven’s absence.