Seahawks camp countdown: Will long snapper Nate Boyer have a chance to make the team?
By Bob Condotta on July 28, 2015
Seahawks training camp begins Friday. We’ll answer a key question every day until the team is back on the field at the team facility in Renton.
Today’s question: Will long snapper Nate Boyer have a chance to make the team?
There’s one undisputed fact as the Seahawks enter training camp — no undrafted free agent has more of a feel-good story than that of long snapper Nate Boyer.
Boyer is a 34-year-old former Green Beret. After a six-year military career that included tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, he restarted his football career by walking on at the University of Texas.
There he earned the long snapper’s job after deciding he would do whatever it took to get on the field.
The Seahawks signed Boyer as an undrafted free agent following the 2015 NFL draft, giving him the chance to put the ultimate capper on a story that already seems destined for Hollywood.
Boyer seems sure to get a starring role in some preseason games.
But making the roster for the regular season will be more of a challenge.
A couple months before signing Boyer, the Seahawks re-signed Clint Gresham, who has been their long snapper since 2010, to a three-year contract worth $2.7 million.
The deal includes base salaries of $745,000, $760,000 and $900,000 the next three seasons with a $300,000 signing bonus. The bonus is spread out over the three years of the contract for salary-cap reasons.
The contract given to Gresham, who turns 29 in August, was well-earned compensation for a player some have regarded as among the most consistent of all Seahawks. Gresham was signed by the Seahawks as a free agent shortly before the 2010 season, Pete Carroll’s first as coach, and shortly after he had been released by the New Orleans Saints.
Jon Ryan, the Seahawks’ punter and the holder on field-goal and extra-point attempts, also joined the team in 2010. In January he said Gresham has “been as close to perfect as you can get in the last five years.’’
Therein lies the challenge for Boyer. Long snapper is hardly a position of concern for the Seahawks, who didn’t bother to bring in competition for Gresham a year ago.
Still, the Seahawks preach to “always compete,’’ and Boyer is sure to get his chances to impress.
Gresham, in a classy move befitting the reputation he has earned during his time with the Seahawks, tweeted after the draft that he welcomed the competition.
“Welcome to the squad! @nateboyer37’’ Gresham tweeted on the night Boyer signed.
“Thanks brother,’’ Boyer responded on Twitter. “I’m really pumped about the opportunity.’’