The long snapper is probably the most overlooked contributor to any NFL team. Most fans almost never know who their team’s long snapper is, but his contribution is vital every time the team lines up for a punt, field goal, or extra point.
The Buffalo Bills made a switch at the position this offseason, bringing back a somewhat familiar face to take over from their long-time snapper. Here’s a look at the “new guy”.
Name: Reid Ferguson
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 244 lbs.
Draft: UDFA (2016)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Ferguson is on a two-year deal that pays him $465,000 this season with a $90,000 raise for next season. There is no dead-cap hit if the Bills cut him loose.
2016 Recap: Ferguson was an undrafted pickup by the Bills who stuck with the team into training camp last season before being released. The most memorable moment of his Bills tenure was then-head coach Rex Ryan forgetting who he was during a post-practice interview.
Positional Outlook: The Bills cut ties with long-time long snapper Garrison Sanborn earlier in the offseason, so at this point he’s the only player on the team at the position. Of course, long snappers are fairly flexible, so it wouldn’t be terribly hard to bring a new player in if Ferguson struggles.
2017 Offseason: Ferguson was signed to a reserve/futures contract in January. That’s really the only news he’s made so far this offseason.
2017 Season Outlook: At this point, the odds are in Ferguson’s favor, given that he’s the only long-snapper on the team. While his signing does pre-date the arrival of Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane, he’s held on to his roster spot so far, which bodes well for him. As I mentioned, given how little strategy the position requires, it’s easy to swap out an under-performing player for another, so if Ferguson struggles the Bills could bring in some competition.