General manager Kevin Colbert indicated that Boswell (groin) will have competition for his position ahead of the upcoming season, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports. Boswell is due a $2 million roster bonus in March, so if he sticks around through the offseason to actually "have competition," he'd probably have a long leash entering the preseason. The hope is that Boswell can return to his 2017 Pro Bowl form.
Boswell (groin) is expected to be on the Steelers' roster entering training camp, but he figures to have competition in advance of the 2019 season, Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Boswell ended this past season on injured reserve after appearing in 15 games. The 27-year-old logged the poorest stats of his pro career in 2018, going 13-for-20 on field-goal attempts after hitting 89 percent of his kicks over his first three NFL campaigns. Boswell, who is under contract with the Steelers through 2022, is due a $2 million roster bonus in March and while the team is expected to retain the kicker at that juncture, Steelers president Art Rooney II did acknowledge "at a minimum that (general manager) Kevin Colbert and his group will be looking to bring in some competition with (Boswell). I think they'll make something happen there and at least give him some competition for the kicking position."
A groin injury was at the root of Boswell's placement on injured reserve prior to Sunday's 16-13 win over the Bengals, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The legitimacy of Boswell's groin issue is somewhat questionable, as the 27-year-old had displayed dreadful accuracy through the Steelers' first 15 games but was never regularly featured on the team's injury reports prior to being shut down. In any case, despite signing a four-year extension in August, Boswell is in danger of losing his roster spot for good in 2019 after converting only 13 of his 20 field-goal attempts and 43 of 48 extra-point tries before landing on IR. Further hurting Boswell's future within the organization was the fact that the replacement kicker the Steelers signed ahead of the season finale, Matt McCrane, nailed all three of his field-goal tries, including one from 49 yards out. Pittsburgh is expected to decide on Boswell's fate within the next several weeks, as he'll be due a $2 million roster bonus in March.
Boswell, who was placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury prior to Pittsburgh's 16-13 Week 17 win over Cincinnati, finished the season having made 13 of 20 field-goals and 43 of 45 PATs. His 65 percent success rate on field-goals was the lowest in the league among kickers with 20 or more attempts, and well below his career average of 89.5 percent entering the season. Boswell was signed to a hefty long-term contact after last season -- with over $7 million guaranteed -- so despite his awful season there is a strong chance he will be back kicking for Pittsburgh in 2019.
Boswell was placed on injured reserve Friday with an undisclosed injury. Boswell was nearly replaced following Week 15 after missing his seventh field-goal attempt of the season, but he responded by not missing a kick last week against the Saints. The 27-year-old was never listed on the injury report, so what he's actually dealing with is currently unclear. Pittsburgh signed Matt McCrane to handle kicking duties as the team heads into the final game of the regular season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||@New England Patriots||10||6.58|
|3||09/22||@San Francisco 49ers||23||7.44|
|6||10/14||@Los Angeles Chargers||8||6.44|
|10||11/10||Los Angeles Rams||19||7.32|
|16||12/22||@New York Jets||31||9.00|