Last week, I wrote up my first non-draft profile piece on a long snapper. I had hoped never to have to repeat the task, but after Camaron Cheeseman’s debacular snapping in Denver - which even the head coach seemed to anticipate - here we are.
Ron Rivera on long snapper Camaron Cheeseman's struggles. pic.twitter.com/vet7wL58mS— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) September 13, 2023
Against the Broncos, Cheeseman botched a snap on the first field goal attempt, causing Joey Slye to shank the ball wide right.
And a good drive wasted. bad snap by Cheeseman. Has happened too often since camp opened.— John Keim (@john_keim) September 17, 2023
It was the second straight week he’s posted the lowest special teams grade - per PFF - on the team, and it shows no sign of getting better.
Commanders week 2 Special Teams PFF grades. Two weeks in a row that Cheeseman has recorded a 26 overall grade. Not good at all and definitely something Ron and co have to be discussing this week #HTTC pic.twitter.com/ZkEnoEv2Cl— Josh Cohen (@jcohen710) September 18, 2023
What are our options?
At this point, Cheeseman needs to be retained until a better option is found. We don’t want a replay of the Chris Blewitt situation, where Dustin Hopkins was rashly fired, only to bring on board a far less talented option.
Here are some of the free agent long snappers who were late cut downs this offseason:
McQuaide was with the Cowboys over the course of the last two seasons, has played in the league 12 seasons, and is a two-time Pro Bowler. He’s currently 35 years old, and has tried out with several teams this offseason.
LS Jake McQuaide is also working out for the Commanders on Tuesday, per source.https://t.co/1rRoTMlcoB— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) September 18, 2023
Overton was also with the Cowboys in 2022 (as well as the Rams), and is even older than McQuaide (38). He was actually brought up to replace McQuaide, who had suffered a torn tricep. He’s been in and out of the NFL since 2007, and has one Pro Bowl under his belt.
Addington graduated from Sam Houston State in 2020, and is an alumnus of the Texas Long Snapping organization. Apparently, while he was there he posted the fastest snapping speed of any player enrolled, and was inducted into their Hall of Honor. He was signed alongside Overton to compete for McQuaide’s job, and ending up losing out. He then got try outs from the Patriots and Jaguars.
Washington will bring in LS Tucker Addington for a workout Tuesday, per source. He's spent time with 3 franchises, snapping in 3 games for New England last year. Cameron Cheeseman has struggled with some snaps since camp opened. Not sure how many others they're working out.— John Keim (@john_keim) September 18, 2023
Lyons is one of the more intriguing players on this list. He was a decorated long snapper at UNC-Charlotte in 2021 and picked up by the Giants as an undrafted free agent. The Giants had a solid vet in the role, but it sounds like they saw something in Lyons they liked, so they brought him in.
A highly intelligent football player who earned academic honors throughout his college career, there was initially thought that Lyons might push incumbent Casey Kreiter for the long-snapper role. However, special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey downplayed that there will be a competition this summer between Kreiter and Lyons.
“It’s not so much of a competition. I think it’s more of a good, young player that we identified that can develop over time,” McGaughey said.
A 2022 graduate student out of Duke, Deckers was picked up by the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent. He was considered one of the top long snapping options going into the 2023 draft.
Bucs are signing an undrafted rookie long-snapper in Duke's Evan Deckers -- snapped in 53 games in college, first at UMass from 2018-21 and last season with the Blue Devils. Can compete with Zach Triner, who's handled Tampa Bay's snaps for last four years.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) April 30, 2023
Who do you want to see long snapping for Washington against the Bills.