September 27th, 2022 at 3:59pm CST by Sam Robinson
Jordan Berry is back for another Steelers stint. Pittsburgh’s former long-term punter reached an agreement to join the team’s practice squad Tuesday.
This latest Berry-Steelers pact comes after Mike Tomlin said second-year punter Pressley Harvin is dealing with hip discomfort. Berry worked out for the Steelers on Monday. To make room for Berry on their 16-man P-squad, the Steelers cut linebacker Delontae Scott.
Originally a Steelers UDFA back in 2015, Berry signed an extension to stay with the team in February 2018. He later signed a two-year deal in 2019. But the Steelers cut bait on that contract in 2020, releasing Berry and using Dustin Colquitt as their punter to start that season. The Australian specialist, however, returned to replace Colquitt midway through that season.
Harvin’s 2021 arrival, via a seventh-round pick, led Berry to the Vikings, who gave him one-year deals in 2021 and earlier this year. Berry, 31, did not win Minnesota’s punting competition this year, leading him back to free agency.
While Berry represents insurance at this point, he has appeared in more games (91) than any Steelers punter this century. Only Bobby Walden, Josh Miller and Craig Colquitt have punted in more games for the franchise. Playing indoors regularly for the first time as a pro, Berry averaged a career-high 46.5 yards per punt with the Vikings last year.
The Vikings appear to have settled their punting competition. The team announced a pair of moves on Monday which includes the release of veteran Jordan Berry.
The 31-year-old Australian went undrafted in 2014, but it wasn’t until the following season that he made his debut with the Steelers. He played in Pittsburgh for six seasons straight, with the exception of a brief stretch to begin the 2020 campaign. Overall, he averaged 44.4 yards per punt during his time there.
As Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes (on Twitter), the fact that Wright carries a slightly lower cap hit ($707K compared to Berry’s $895K) and that he is nine years younger likely pointed the Vikings in the former’s direction. Wright will continue the recent tradition of introducing new punters on a near-annual basis in Minnesota, while Berry will once again look to find a new spot just before the start of the campaign.
With the roster spot opened up by Berry’s release, the Vikings brought back corner Tye Smith. The 29-year-old made five appearances with Minnesota last season, spending the rest of the campaign on the practice squad. He was among the team’s first round of roster cuts, but will now return for at least the immediate future.
The previously noted Britton Colquitt procedural return does not look like it will end up coming to pass. Instead, the Vikings intend to sign former Steelers punter Jordan Berry, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.
Minnesota released Colquitt on Wednesday, but the veteran was back at the team’s facility Thursday. The second-generation NFL punter appears to need other plans now, with the Vikings pivoting to Berry.
Britton Colquitt operated as the Vikings’ punter for the past two seasons, playing in all 32 Minnesota regular-season games in that span. The 11-year veteran is going into his age-36 season. Berry turned 30 earlier this year.
The Steelers have settled on a new punter. The team released veteran Jordan Berry today, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). This means rookie seventh-round pick Pressley Harvin III has won the starting gig.
Berry, a 2014 undrafted free agent out of Eastern Kentucky, had been with the Steelers since the 2015 season. Berry didn’t miss a game through his first five seasons in the NFL, averaging 44.2 yards per punt on his 328 attempts. It looked like his stint in Pittsburgh had ended in 2020 when the team released him in favor of Dustin Colquitt, but the team reversed course and re-signed Berry in October. The veteran ended up seeing time in 11 games last season, and he finished with a career-high 45.8 yards per punt.
Harvin will now take over the starting gig following a standout career at Georgia Tech. The punter earned a long list of accolades in 2020, including unanimous first-team All-American, first team All-ACC, and the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s top punter.
The Steelers special teams room will look a bit different in 2021, as the team also swapped long snapper KamCanaday with ChristianKuntz. This leaves kicker Chris Boswell as the lone holdover.
After going into the 2020 season without Jordan Berry as their punter, the Steelers restored their usual order at the position by adding the veteran around the midseeason point. The team is bringing Berry back for another season.
Berry re-signed with the Steelers on Monday. It’s a one-year deal. Should the veteran specialist make Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster, it will be his seventh season with the team.
The Steelers previously extended Berry to keep him in 2018 and, a year later, gave him a two-year contract that ran through 2020. However, the team cut its incumbent punter and went with longtime Chief Dustin Colquitt going into last season. The Steelers backtracked on Colquitt after five games and brought back Berry, who punted in the team’s final 11 contests and its wild-card game.
Berry, who turned 30 earlier this month, averaged a career-best 45.8 yards per punt last season. While he was not with the Steelers for the first five games last season, the former UDFA has never missed a game when under contract.
A punter transition will take place in Pittsburgh, one that will send out the Steelers’ replacement punter and reinstall the position’s previous occupant.
The Steelers released Dustin Colquitt on Friday and are expected to re-sign Jordan Berry, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Berry operated as the Steelers’ punter from 2015-19 before being released in September.
Mike Tomlin said Colquitt’s punting was “not up to snuff” through five games. A 15-year punter with the Chiefs, Colquitt is averaging 43.1 yards per punt. That would be his lowest figure since his rookie season. The Chiefs released Colquitt this offseason, going with rookie Johnny Townsend in his place.
Berry averaged 45.5 yards per boot last season but was under 44 in 2017 and ’18. The Steelers gave Berry a two-year extension in 2019 but initially cut bait during that deal’s duration. Berry worked out for the Steelers on Monday and, provided none of his COVID-19 tests come back negative, would be in line to kick against the Titans on Sunday. Should the Steelers not have Berry ready to go, they have a backup plan in rookie Corliss Waitman. The South Alabama product resides on Pittsburgh’s practice squad.
ChrisBoswell has spent the past four seasons with the Steelers, but his tenure in Pittsburgh could be coming to an end. In his 53-man roster predictions, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic writes that the veteran kicker isn’t a shoo-in to make the team.
The 2014 undrafted free agent out of Rice had stops with the Texans and Giants before joining the Steelers in 2015. Boswell quickly became a mainstay of the Steelers’ special teams unit, appearing in 58 regular season games over the past four years. The 28-year-old was more-than-solid during his first three years with Pittsburgh, including a 2017 campaign where he earned a Pro Bowl nod.
However, Boswell struggled mightily in 2018. The kicker connected on only 65-percent of his field goal attempts, and he also converted a subpar 89.6-percent of his extra point chances. The front office reworked Boswell’s contract back in May, delaying his $2MM bonus until after the club’s final preseason game (the kicker was originally set to collect the bonus in March). This buys the Steelers some extra time as they evaluate the position, while Boswell gets a chance at redemption.
If the Steelers do decide to move on from Boswell, the team could turn to Central Florida rookie Matthew Wright. However, Kaboly says it’s more likely that the team pursues whichever free agent is cut loose during the preseason.
While there are question marks surrounding the Steelers’ kicker, the rest of their special teams unit seems set. Kaboly writes that punter JordanBerry and long snapper KameronCanaday are “secure.”