Should the Steelers stick with XFL Vipers kicker Wright next year?
Former XFL Tampa Bay Viper Matthew Wright is making a name for himself with the Steelers.
The former Tampa Bay Vipers’ kicker Matthew Wright has been doing everything right since joining the Pittsburgh Steelers just before Thanksgiving.
Since Wright’s number was called he has been nothing but reliable. The UCF product is one for one on field goal attempts, his field goal was a 37 yarder. He is also a perfect six for six on point-after attempts. Four of those attempts were last Sunday versus the Indianapolis Colts.
Last year in preseason, Wright went one for one on field goals, which was a 42-yard field goal, a perfect two for two on point-after attempts.
If you are keeping track, that brings him to a perfect statline of eight for eight on point-afters and making both of his field-goal attempts.
Great to see Matthew Wright getting another chance for the Steelers at kicker this Sunday.
— Moose Gibson (@midnightxmoose) December 29, 2020
Sweetness as a Steeler?
It may be too soon to argue that the Steelers should bring back Matthew Wright next season, to either compete with the veteran Chris Boswell or even potentially take over for the veteran.
In recent history Boswell has been injured quite often and quite frankly is overpaid too. He signed a contract in 2018 worth 19.72 million dollars to keep him as a Steeler until 2022, and has been good on field goals this season making 19 0f 20, but extra points are where it hurts. He places 27th in the league missing 4, 34 for 38.
Wright on the other hand makes just mere pennies compared to Boswell. Wright’s deal is worth $33,600 dollars, which is literally worth just chump change compared to Boswell’s contract. The XFL product has looked nothing but good and he is in line for the start this weekend against AFC North foe the Cleveland Browns. If Wright performs to plan, will the Steelers make a potential move? Hopefully.
Wright may not kick the prettiest of field goals and have the best end over end ball but what matters is if they go over the crossbar and between the uprights on the fly; he can do just that.
Will history repeat itself?
If you go back to 2018, Boswell’s worst career season when he went 13 for 20 on field goals. The Steelers brought in the future New York Guardians kicker Matthew McCrane to kick in the final game of the season. McCrane would go three for three on field goals and make his extra point. McCrane would score 10 of the Steelers 16 points and win the game ball. The Steelers would keep McCrane on the roster until mini-camp.
The reason that story is included is because this is not the first time Boswell has been in a situation just like this one. Wright has the opportunity to show why he should be the kicker from here forward. He will be much cheaper than Boswell and if you can put the ball through the uprights on a very consistent basis, there is an NFL roster spot waiting for you.
Boswell has only played two full seasons in his six-year NFL tenure. He usually ends up plagued by some sort of injury, so regardless it would not hurt to keep Wright around. The benefits heavily outweigh the potential downsides.
How Wright may be used Sunday
The Cleveland Browns will be playing hard, as they have a playoff opportunity at stake in this game. If they lose they are out of the playoffs, but if they win they have a potential chance to make it. Surely, the defense will be turned up to top-notch to keep the historically high powered Steelers’ offense out of the endzone. That being said, we may get to see Matthew Wright take a shot at some field goals. It would not be a shocker to see Wright come out and attempt three or four field goals in this duel.