One Snapping Move and One Coaching Change

Since the Draft, there has not been much snapping news to report, largely due to the pandemic.  In what may the last snapping move for some time, the Cowboys recently added Joe Fortunato.  Fortunato has been persistent in trying to reach his goal of snapping in the NFL, as he last spent time with Colts briefly in 2017.

There was also a notable coaching move, as Brad Seely of the Texans just decided to retire. Seely has over 30 years of NFL coaching experience.  Although not official, the Texans are expected to promote Assistant Special Teams Coach Tracy White to Seely’s position.

Posted in Coaching, NFL, Transactions

Additional Snapping Moves After the Draft

While the Dolphins, Raiders, Jaguars and Lions added rookie snappers after the Draft, some other snappers were let go as a result of those additions.  The Dolphins waived Taybor Pepper and the Lions did the same with James Fisher.

The Giants signed veteran Casey Kreiter just prior to the Draft and have just waived Colin Holba and Drew Scott.  The Texans became the latest to team to add a snapper when they signed street free agent snapper Anthony Kukwa, who has prior experience with the Raiders and Chargers.

With these moves, just eight teams (Ravens, Bengals, Broncos, Lions, Texans, Jaguars, Raiders and Steelers) have two snappers on the roster.

Posted in NFL, NFL Draft, Transactions, Uncategorized

Reflections on the 2020 NFL Draft

As an agent for over 25 years, the NFL Draft is filled with many different and competing emotions.  There is excitement, nervousness and, frequently, frustration and disbelief.  As I look back at the 2020 NFL Draft, it was a vivid reminder of all those feelings and how the COVID-19 pandemic likely deprived many great players, including snappers, of the opportunity to achieve their dreams.

Since I primarily represent long snappers, other specialists and small school players, the deck is already stacked against my clients.  While Blake Ferguson continued the streak of at least one snapper drafted for six straight seasons when he was drafted by the Dolphins, only a handful of snappers ever secure an NFL contract.

Specialists and small school players faced an even harder and more uphill battle this year, with few Pro Days or personal workouts and no rookie mini-camps, that meant hundreds of players lost the ability to tryout for an NFL team over the next few weekends.

While I was thrilled to place snapper Liam McCullough with the Raiders and small school linebacker Eli Mencer with the Seahawks, there were many ups and downs for both players.  Teams that showed interest for months suddenly and without explanation disappeared, going silent at the very time you want to hear from them the most.

For anyone with a dream of playing in the NFL, do not give up.  This was a challenging time to be in the Draft process and, if you are not with a team right now, the odds of changing that situation can be very long.  However, it is likely you have beaten very similar long odds before, so stay in shape and remain positive.  Let’s hope training camps start in July and, before that, teams have tryouts to give snappers, other specialists and small school stars the chance they truly deserve.

Posted in NFL, NFL Draft, Transactions

NFL Draft Pick and Signings for Snappers

The streak of at least one long snapper being drafted continued today, as the Dolphins selected LSU long snapper Blake Ferguson in the Sixth Round.  At least three other snappers will sign undrafted free agent contracts, including client Liam McCullough (Ohio State-Raiders), Steven Wirtel (Iowa State-Lions) and Ross Matisick (Baylor-Jaguars).

All four snappers were semi-finalists for the inaugural Patrick Mannelly Award and McCullough and Wirtel were finalists.  Winner John Shannon from Notre Dame elected not to pursue an NFL career.

Posted in NFL, NFL Draft, Transactions

Kreiter Signs with Giants; Two XFL Snappers Sign NFL Deals

Veteran snappers rarely change teams in free agency, but it happened yesterday.  Former Broncos snapper Casey Kreiter signed a one-year deal with the Giants.  The Giants already have Colin Holba on the roster and previously signed Drew Scott after the 2019 season.

Two XFL long snappers, Christian Kuntz and Nick Moore, also earned NFL contracts. Kuntz signed with the Steelers and Moore with the Ravens.  Kuntz previously spent time with the Steelers during the 2019 preseason, while Moore was with the Saints last preseason.

Posted in NFL, Transactions, XFL

Veteran Free Agency Update for Long Snappers

The only real news coming from the sports world is the NFL and veteran free agency.  That includes a number of snappers that have reached new deals, either just prior to, or right after, the start of free agency.

Of the 6 unrestricted free agents, only two, Casey Kreiter and Zak DeOssie, remain unsigned at this time.  The other four, client Patrick Scales (Bears), Don Muhlbach (Lions), LP LaDouceur (Cowboys) and Jon Weeks (Texans) have all signed, or reportedly about to sign, one-year deals to return.

The two restricted free agents, Kameron Canaday (Steelers) and Zach Wood (Saints), each inked new, multi-year deals to stay with their clubs.

Posted in NFL, Transactions

Snapping and Coaching Update as the NFL Pauses

While it is possible that veteran free agency may begin this week in the NFL, much of the football world is otherwise paused due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, news broke today that one potential veteran free agent long snapper, Don Muhlbach, re-signed with the Lions on a one-year deal as he enters his 17th NFL season.  Other unrestricted free agent snappers such as Jon Weeks (Texans)  and Patrick Scales (Bears) are expected to return to their teams.  The Broncos have added another snapper by signing Jacob Bobenmoyer who joins Wes Farnsworth on the roster with Casey Kreiter about to become a free agent.  Trent Sieg, who was an exclusive rights free agent, has re-signed with the Raiders.

To close the loop on the special teams coaching changes, John Bonamego is the new special teams coach for the Rams and it appears Cameron Achord will be the replacement for Joe Judge in New England.

Posted in Coaching, NFL, Transactions

Ferguson and Wirtel Invited to NFL Scouting Combine

For the first time since 2017, the NFL Scouting Combine at the end of this month will feature two long snappers.  Blake Ferguson (LSU) and Steven Wirtel (Iowa State) have both been invited to the Combine.

Both snappers were also the Senior Bowl long snappers and Wirtel was a finalist for the first annual Patrick Mannelly Long Snapper Award.

Posted in College, NFL, NFL Draft, Patrick Mannelly Award

XFL Long Snappers

With the NFL season finished, the new XFL season starts on February 8th.

Below are the snappers for the eight teams in the latest version of the league that initially played one season back in 2001.

DALLAS: Christian Kuntz

DC: Brian Khoury

HOUSTON: Colton Taylor

LOS ANGELES: Ryan Navarro

NEW YORK: Scott Daly

ST. LOUIS: Tanner Carew

SEATTLE: Noah Borden

TAMPA BAY: Nick Moore

Posted in XFL

Snapping News and Notes Before the Super Bowl

With the Super Bowl this Sunday, it is a good time to catch-up on some snapping and snapping-related developments around the NFL over the past few weeks.

Sunday’s game will include snappers James Winchester (Chiefs) and Kyle Nelson (Niners).  Winchester recorded a tackle in punt coverage in its win over the Titans, while Austin Cutting of the Vikings added a tackle during the Wild Card round.

There has been one additional future/reserve contract signing, as the Bengals signed Dan Godsil, who was with them in training camp.  As the regular season was ending, there were two snappers that earned tryouts, as the Chiefs had Drew Scott in for a workout and the Steelers brought in Kyle Vasey.  Scott later signed a future/reserve contract with the Giants.

Every off-season brings a string of special teams coaching changes and so far there have been just a handful to date.  Joe Judge of the Patriots became the Giants head coach, creating a vacancy in New England.  John Fassel went from the Rams to the Cowboys and Brayden Coombs will coach the Lions special teams units.  The Patriots and Rame are the two vacancies, but both should be filled soon.

Posted in Coaching, NFL, Tackles, Transactions