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Steelers All 90: Chris Boswell Looks For Bounce Back in 2023

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Steelers K Chris Boswell

The Pittsburgh Steelers originally signed Chris Boswell to try to fill the gap left by Shaun Suisham’s injury during the 2015 season but after two long contract extensions, Boswell is well on his way to playing for the team until he is the ripe age of 35 years old.

Boswell re-upped his deal last offseason as he signed on for another four seasons with the Steelers. If you told Steelers fans in Boswell’s horrible 2018 season that he would be signed through the end of the 2026 season, they would probably call you crazy.

In that 2018 season, Boswell made a career-low 65% of his field goal attempts and most think that he had the “yips.” The problem for the Steelers at that point is that they had to stick with him because they just gave him a massive extension before the season started.

Luckily for them, Boswell bounced back in 2019 and has been relatively solid ever since and even earned another long-term extension last offseason. But, just like the first time he signed a long extension, Boswell had a down year in 2022 but not nearly as bad as his 2018 season.

Some think that 2023 is a make-it-or-break-it year for the veteran placekicker but with the money that he would be owed if the team moved on, it would not make sense for them to cut him until after the 2024 season when the dead money would be significantly less.

The Steelers brought in a rookie kicker, B.T. Potter, to compete with Boswell in training camp and the preseason. It is unlikely that Boswell disappoints enough in the next two months to be let go which means that he will be the kicker in the 2023 season.

If he can stay healthy, Boswell has shown the ability to be one of the top kickers in the league but health has been an issue for the Rice product ever since the 2020 season. He has missed eight games due to injuries over the past three seasons. Nonetheless, Boswell is not going anywhere, anytime soon.

9 • Chris Boswell, Kicker, Rice
6-foot-2, 185 pounds, 32 years old, 10th Season

Acquired: The Steelers signed Boswell on Oct. 3, 2015, after Shaun Suisham and Garrett Hartley were both placed on the injured reserve list and Josh Scobee was cut due to poor performances.

Last season: Prior to the 2022 season, Boswell signed a four-contact extension with the Steelers that will keep him in Pittsburgh until the end of the 2026 season. In Week 1, Boswell missed a potential game-winning 55-yard field goal in overtime against the Cincinnati Bengals but went on to hit a 53-yard game-winning field goal later in the game.

Three weeks later, Boswell made a 59-yard field goal against the New York Jets which broke his own Acrisure Stadium/Heinz Field record.

Boswell played in 12 games last season as he missed five games due to injury. He converted 20-of-28 field goals and made all 18 extra-point attempts in 2022

Steelers Chris Boswell Pressley Harvin III

CLEVELAND, OH – OCTOBER 31: Pittsburgh Steelers place kicker Chris Boswell (9) is congratulated by Pittsburgh Steelers punter Pressley Harvin (6) after kicking a 31-yard field goal during the first quarter of the National Football League game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns on October 31, 2021, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

CareerAfter finishing as Rice’s second-highest scorer in school history, the Houston Texans signed Boswell as an undrafted free agent to compete with Randy Bullock in training camp. Boswell lost the competition and was cut by the team. He did re-sign with the Texans to be a part of their practice squad in 2014.

Prior to the 2015 season, Boswell agreed to a reserve/future contract with the New York Giants but was later waived and placed on their practice squad. The Steelers signed Boswell four games into the 2015 season due to poor kicking performances by Josh Scobee. Boswell was a breath of fresh air for the Steelers as he made more than 90% of his extra points and field goal attempts. He also set a Steelers record for making three 47-plus-yard field goals in the same game in 2015.

Boswell did a good enough job to remain as the Steelers’ kicker heading into the 2016 season. In a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Boswell made a career-high six field goals with five of them coming from 40-plus yards. This was the first time in NFL history that a kicker pulled that accomplishment off. In the playoffs, Boswell set an NFL record by making six field goals in the same playoff game as he scored all of the Steelers’ points in an 18-16 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Prior to the 2017 season, Boswell signed a one-year extension with the Steelers and went on to make the Pro Bowl during the 2017 season. He then signed a five-year extension the following offseason and was named as a team captain for the 2018 season. In 2018 though, Boswell went through a rough patch as he only converted 65% of his field goals.

Boswell bounced back in 2019 and made 93.5% of his field goal attempts. In 2020, Boswell set a Steelers record for the longest field goal made in the organization’s history which was a 59-yarder against the Dallas Cowboys. This also set a career-high for Boswell. Then in 2021, Boswell set the Heinz Field record for the longest field goal as he banged a 56-yard field goal against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Over his first eight seasons of actual playing time, Boswell has played in 116 games and has made 202 field goals and 249 extra points.

Steelers PK Chris Boswell

CLEVELAND, OH – OCTOBER 31: Pittsburgh Steelers place kicker Chris Boswell (9) looks for a receiver on a fake field goal attempt during the second quarter of the National Football League game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns on October 31, 2021, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Year GP FGM FGA FG% XPA XP XP % PFF Rating
2014 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 12 29 32 90.6 26 27 96.3 68.9
2016 15 21 25 84.0 36 36 100.0 74.2
2017 16 35 38 92.1 37 39 94.9 81.3
2018 15 13 20 65.0 43 48 89.6 30.6
2019 16 29 31 93.5 28 28 100.0 79.7
2020 13 19 20 95.0 34 38 89.5 64.2
2021 17 36 40 90.0 27 29 93.1 81.9
2022 12 20 28 71.4 18 18 100.0 66.1

CollegeBoswell committed to Rice University out of high school and sat out the entire 2009 season on a redshirt. In 2010, Boswell became the Owls’ starting placekicker and made 11 of his 17 field goal attempts with his season-long being a 50-yarder.

In 2011, Boswell upped his field goal percentage to 80.9% as he made 17 of 21 attempts. After the season, Boswell was named as an honorable mention All-Conference USA by the league’s coaches. As a redshirt junior in 2012, Boswell made a career-high 23 field goals with a long of 57 yards, which was also a career-high.

Boswell finished his Rice career as the second-leading scorer in program history with 358 points, just two points shy of the all-time record.

Year FGM FGA Percentage Long
2009 0 0 0 0
2010 11 17 64.7 50
2011 17 21 80.9 54
2012 23 29 79.3 57
2013 14 21 66.7 56

Salary cap and future: Boswell is entering the first year of the four-year extension that he signed prior to last season. In 2023, Boswell will cost $5.64 million against the team’s cap space. Of the $5.64 million, Boswell is owed $2.74 million in base salary and $2.90 million in bonuses.

Boswell is signed with the Steelers through the end of the 2026 season when he will be the age of 35. If he plays his contract all the way through, Boswell would be the Steelers’ kicker for 12 seasons straight.

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