This time of year tends to be a slow period for NFL news, but there have been a few developments that impact the snapping position and long snappers.
The Bills signed Reid Ferguson to a three-year contract extension that will keep him under contract until 2024.
Bengals snapper Dan Godsil appears to have retired after being placed on the Reserved/Retired list, leaving veteran Clark Harris as the only snapper on the roster.
Brian Schneider, who was to lead the special teams units for the Jaguars, stepped away for personal reasons. Schneider was replaced by Nick Sorensen
Finally, the USFL may be returning from a decades-long hiatus and could potentially offer long snappers a viable outdoor playing option. Caution is advised, however, as there have been many leagues that have come and gone over the years including:
Last week brought a few new long snapping transactions in the NFL. The Ravens waived Brian Khoury, who they signed earlier this year, leaving just Nick Moore on the roster. The Patriots signed first-year snapper Wes Farnsworth, who has prior training camp experience with the Dolphins and Broncos. With these two moves, there are still 12 NFL teams with two snappers on the 90-man roster.
There was at least two snappers that received tryouts last week, although in the off-season tryouts are not often publicly reported. The Broncos specialist tryout included rookie Seth Cottengim, who was with Denver for rookie mini-camp, and Matt Tunnacliffe, from Dayton and the 2019 NFL Draft class.
Rookie mini-camps are complete and it does not appear either of the two snappers who received tryouts were signed. If that remains accurate, only four snappers from this year’s Draft class earned contracts, as two snappers were drafted and two others were signed as undrafted free agents.
The Titans waived Matt Orzech last week and he was later claimed by the Rams. After that move, the Rams waived Colin Holba, leaving Orzech and Steven Wirtel on the roster.
A total of 12 teams, Ravens, Panthers, Bengals, Lions, Packers, Raiders, Chargers, Rams, Dolphins, Vikings, Giants and Steelers, have two snappers on the 90 man roster as of today.
After two long snappers were drafted and two signed free agent deals, there have been three additional moves this past week.
Scott Daly, from the 2018 Draft class, has signed with the Lions. Daly initially signed with the Cowboys in 2018 and has prior time in the AAF and XFL. Two other member of this year’s Draft class have earned mini-camp tryouts this weekend. Kyle Poland (West Virginia) will tryout with the Texans, while Seth Cottengim (Arkansas State) will tryout with the Broncos.
As mentioned previously, teams are only allowed five players for tryouts so many snappers will not be able to even get an opportunity to earn a contract.
Long snapping was in the spotlight today for a great reason, as two long snappers were selected in the Sixth Round of the NFL Draft.
Alabama’s Thomas Fletcher was taken by the Panthers as the 38th pick (222 overall) and Michigan’s Camaron Cheeseman was selected by Washington as the 41st pick (225 overall).
After the Draft, at least two long snappers have signed free agent deals as Ryan Langan is signing with the Chargers and Turner Bernard is inking a deal with the Vikings.
Fletcher was the winner of this year’s Patrick Mannelly Award for the best senior FBS long snapper, while Langan was one of the three finalists and Bernard one of 10 semi-finalists. Cheeseman did not snap this year so was not considered for the Award.
Stay tuned for any additional signings or tryouts.
After last year’s NFL Draft that consisted of just a few Pro Days and no rookie mini-camps or tryouts, I wrote about the particular challenges for long snappers. With this year’s Draft starting Thursday, it could be another difficult time for this year’s Draft-eligble snappers.
While Pro Days happened without any issues, the NFL just announced that tryouts will be limited to 5 players per team. Prior to last season, many NFL teams would bring in a snapper for rookie mini-camps on a tryout basis, but those opportunities will be limited once again this year.
To get a shot this year, a snapper must be drafted, signed to an undrafted free agent contract or be lucky enough to be one of the 5 players given a tryout. Last year, one snapper was drafted and just a few signed free agent deals and that reality could repeat next weekend.
With the Packers recent signing of street free agent Joe Fortunato, nine teams have two snappers on the roster. The others are the Ravens, Bengals, Raiders, Rams, Dolphins, Giants, Steelers and Titans. Only the Washington Football Team has no snapper under contract.
The Longsnap.com blog will be updated with all the snapping developments from the Draft next weekend.
Free agency is one week old and it looks like most veteran long snappers are in place. Don Muhlbach did re-sign with the Lions for another season and Patrick Scales agreed to terms to return to the Bears for 2021.
Veterans remaining on the market include LP Ladoucuer, Matt Overton and Nick Sundberg. The Texans, who appeared to be moving on from Jon Weeks, are expected to re-sign him and waived Anthony Kukwa.
Assuming Weeks does return to Houston, Washington would be the only team without a snapper currently on the roster.
Posted inNFL, Transactions|Comments Off on Free Agency Update for Long Snappers after First Week
Veteran free agency officially began at 4PM today and, prior to that deadline, two more snappers agreed to new deals. JJ Jansen is returning to Carolina and Casey Kreiter to the Giants, each on one-year deals.
Two snappers will be changing teams, as the Cowboys signed former Rams snapper Jake McQuaide to a one-year deal and are moving on from veteran LP Ladouceur. Former Ravens snapper Morgan Cox signed with the Titans, also on a one-year contract.
Veteran snappers currently on the market include Ladouceur, Patrick Scales, Don Muhlbach, Jon Weeks, Matt Overton and Nick Sundberg. Scales and Muhlbach are likely to return to the Bears and Lions.
The Ravens added a street free agent snapper today by signing Brian Khoury, a former Division III snapper, who spent time in the XFL.
Posted inTransactions, XFL|Comments Off on Day One of Veteran Free Agency for Long Snappers
Veteran free agency in the NFL starts next week and new deals have taken two snappers off the market. Potential restricted free agent Trent Sieg has signed a new three-year deal with the Raiders and Clark Haris returns to the Bengals on a one-year deal.
While snappers tend to stay with their current clubs, at least one veteran, Morgan Cox, is expected to sign elsewhere after the Ravens indicated that they do not intend to re-sign him.
Here are the 10 remaining unrestricted free agents:
Morgan Cox (Ravens)
J.J. Jansen (Panthers)
Patrick Scales (Bears)
L.P. Ladouceur (Cowboys)
Don Muhlbach (Lions)
Jon Weeks (Texans)
Jake McQuaide (Rams)
Casey Kreiter (Giants)
Matt Overton (Titans); and
Nick Sundberg (Washington)
Posted inNFL, Transactions|Comments Off on Updated Look at Veteran Free Agency for Long Snappers
The NFL season finished yesterday with the Buccaneers Super Bowl win over the Chiefs. Congratulations to Tampa Bay snapper Zach Triner who, like many snappers, had an usual and indirect path to the NFL. Triner played lacrosse at Siena before transferring to play football at Assumption University and it took a few years to make an NFL roster. Veteran snapper Garrison Sanborn will also get a ring as a member of the Bucs practice squad.
With the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, the NFL season never really stops, so attention turns to veteran free agency in mid-March and NFL Draft at the end of April.
Before looking at veteran free agency, it is important to review a few more snappers that have signed reserve/future deals as they could impact veteran free agency. For example, Colin Holba and Steven Wirtel each signed deals with the Rams, Christian Kuntz signed with the Steelers and Nick Moore signed with the Ravens.
Moore filled in for one game due to COVID issues impacting Morgan Cox and the Ravens have stated they will not re-sign Cox, who had an exceptional 11-year career in Baltimore. It also appears the Rams may move on from Jake McQuaide. A total of nine snappers have signed future deals to date, almost double the typical number.
Here are the snappers that will become free agents starting in March. Exclusive and restricted free agents have limited ability to move teams if offered a one-year deal or if they sign an extension, while any unrestricted snapper is free to sign elsewhere if not signed before the start of free agency. Prior to free agency, Taybor Pepper signed a new two-year deal with the Niners and avoided becoming a restricted free agent.
EXCLUSIVE (1): Zach Triner (Buccaneers)
RESTRICTED (1) : Trent Sieg (Raiders)
UNRESTRICTED (11): Morgan Cox (Ravens); J.J. Jansen (Panthers); Patrick Scales (Bears); Clark Harris (Bengals); L.P. Ladouceur (Cowboys); Don Muhlbach (Lions); Jon Weeks (Texans); Jake McQuaide (Rams); Casey Kreiter (Giants); Matt Overton (Titans); and Nick Sundberg (Washington)