For snappers not on an NFL roster looking to play professionally, the options have traditionally been very limited. The Canadian Football League uses Canadian snappers and the many leagues that have tried to either compete with, or supplement, the NFL have not lasted long
One new option that seeks to be the exception to that rule is the Alliance of American Football. Slated to begin games early next year with eight teams, many experienced NFL administrators and a national television contact, the AAF will likely use dedicated snappers. The AAF recently announced its first 100 player signings and at least one snapper, James Fisher from North Dakota State, is among them having signed with the Phoenix team.
Time will tell if the AAF will be a viable option for snappers looking to gain experience outside of the NFL, but the early signs appear positive.
Over the past few years, the NFL has passed various rules changes to help protect snappers. While there are no rule changes this year, the NFL Officiating Department announced that they will be placing a particular emphasis on defenders that initiate contact with the head or neck area of the snapper to protect snappers on point after attempts and field goals.
The exact statement is below:
While there is no rule change, the Officiating Department will emphasize in 2018 that fouls will be called when defenders initiate contact to the head or neck area of the snapper.
The Jaguars recently waived Andrew East, leaving just five teams with two snappers on the roster heading into the first full week of NFL preseason games. The Ravens, Cowboys, Packers, Dolphins and Raiders are the clubs with two snappers as of today.
NFL training camps are underway for all 32 teams and the first transaction at the snapping position happened this weekend. The Seahawks waived rookie Tanner Carew from Oregon, leaving only Tyler Ott on the roster.
With Carew waived, only the Ravens, Cowboys, Packers, Jaguars, Dolphins and Raiders have two snappers on the roster.
Phil Steele’s 2018 College Football Preview is out and remains the premier source for college football information. To his credit, Steele always includes four long snappers on his Preseason All-American Team.
This year’s team features Dan Godsil of Indiana as the First Team snapper after being selected Third Team on last year’s preseason team. JT Bale (Colorado), Ben Makowski (Purdue) and Blake Ferguson (LSU) round out the snappers.
NFL teams are now in a break period before returning for training camp in late July. Yesterday brought a flurry of moves involving snappers that may be the last transactions until training camp.
Andrew East was signed by the Jaguars to compete with Carson Tinker and Colin Holba was waived. Christian Kuntz was also waived by the Broncos. The Patriots used this time to extend the contract of Joe Cardona, who was drafted in 2015, for another four years.
The Canadian Football League season starts tonight and the snapping position around the league remains stable. Just one snapper, Kevin Malcolm in Hamilton, was not an opening day snapper last season. Bradley Northnagel, who made news by signing with Edmonton in training camp, was released recently, ending the tenure of a rare import American snapper in Canada.
The starting long snappers for each CFL team is below.
British Columbia 40 Mike Benson
Calgary 54 Pierre-Luc Caron
Edmonton 53 Ryan King
Hamilton 54 Kevin Malcolm
Montreal 37 Martin Bedard
Ottawa 50 Louis-Phillippe Bourassa
Saskatchewan 46 Jorgen Hus
Toronto 58 Jake Reinhart
Winnipeg 46 Chad Rempel