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Steelers

Steelers trying out kickers, haven't ruled out keeping Chris Boswell

Chris Adamski
| Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, 11:57 a.m.
Steelers kicker Chris Boswell slips on the turf while attempting the tying field goal against the Raiders in the final seconds Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018.
Steelers kicker Chris Boswell slips on the turf while attempting the tying field goal against the Raiders in the final seconds Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018.
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin speaks at a news conference after an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin speaks at a news conference after an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

As of noon Tuesday, Chris Bowell still hadn’t lost his job as Pittsburgh Steelers kicker.

Yet.

During his weekly news conference Tuesday, coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers will be trying out kickers this week – but that Boswell would be given a chance to stay on the team.

“He will be given an opportunity to play his way into this game this weekend,” Tomlin said of the struggling fourth-year Steelers kicker.

Boswell missed two field goals during this past Sunday’s shocking loss at two-win Oakland, including a potential 40-yarder that would have tied the game as time expired in regulation.

After signing a lucrative four-year contract extension in the spring that included a $6 million signing bonus, Boswell has missed six of 10 field-goal attempts this season. He’s also missed five extra-point tries. Boswell is 4-for-9 on field-goal tries in games the Steelers have not won; in each of the games he’s missed a kick that the Steelers lost, the defeats were one-possession games.

“We just need to get the ball to go through the uprights,” Tomlin said. “…And it hasn’t been consistently.”

Over his three previous seasons with the Steelers, Boswell was 85-for-95 on field goals and 99-for-102 on extra points. He is the NFL’s third-highest paid kicker based on annual average compensation.

According to Spotrac.com, the Steelers would be on the hook for almost $7.3 million in “dead money” that needs to be accounted for on their salary cap if Boswell is cut this season. If he’s cut in 2019 (without a June 1 designation), the Steelers would owe $4.8 million on their salary cap.

Tomlin would not divulge any specifics about when or where tryouts would be occurring. He said the decision to bring in kickers was made “within the past 24 hours.”

In September, the Steelers worked out free-agent punters after Jordan Berry struggled over the first two games of the season. They did not, though, sign any, and Berry found his groove.

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Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @c_adamskitrib.

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