The Pittsburgh Steelers released place kicker Shaun Suisham today ending any speculation as to who would claim the kicking job in 2016.
General Manager Kevin Colbert said this morning that Suisham had suffered a setback in his recovery from his knee injury suffered in the Hall of Fame game last year. The release means two things; first the Steelers are clearly sold on Chris Boswell as their kicker of the future. Secondly, the extra time allows Suisham more of an opportunity to catch on elsewhere in the league.
While the knee is a long way from where it needs to be the move still allows Suisham some flexibility. The Steelers could have had Suisham get ready for a competition with Boswell but it was looking less and less likely that he would even be ready.
With Boswell now entrenched as the kicker, “thanks” must be given to Suisham who came into Pittsburgh at a time when the kicking job was for lack of a better term, a “mess.” His overall accuracy was just shy of 90% and he especially was deadly from 49 yards and in.
Besides the nearly 90% field goal accuracy, he was also 100% on his PATs (173/173) so his reliability was never a question but ultimately, it had nothing to do with kicking that cost him his job in Pittsburgh. Let’s also not forget that when the Steelers were struggling with their kickers, Sushi came off the couch, literally.
If you recall, Suisham went down to his knees to assist on a tackle against the New Orleans Saints in the first game of the 2015 preseason. The fact that he’s still having problems with the knee is troublesome. Post-Gazette reporter Ray Fittapaldo is reporting the injury could be a “career-ender.”
From the financial standpoint, Mark Kaboly of the Trib tweeted that his relsease takes over two million off the books. Our SCB “Capologist” Ben sent me a note saying $2.2 million in dead money will be on the slate for 2017 though.
With the Steelers looking for added depth in key areas, extra money is always good. Whether or not Suisham catches on anywhere else in 2016, Steelers’ fans definitely owe him some love.