Canadian and American football comprises several players withholding different positions in the team that align with their capabilities to form the ultimate winning team. Each player is carefully chosen in their respective places so as to avoid a huge beat down in a match. One such important player is an individual known as the long snapper, who is responsible for snapping the ball a long distance in order to score field goals and earn extra attempt points. Below you will find detailed information as to who is a long snapper?, what are his duties?, and what qualifications are needed to become an NFL long snapper? And most importantly, how much does an NFL player earn annually? Here is the article that gives every detail about NFL Long Snapper.
WHO IS AN NFL LONG SNAPPER?
An NFL long snapper or deep snapper is an individual who is a specialist placed in the center of a playing football field during the trials for scoring field goals, punts, or extra points. A long snapper is a part of special teams and his responsibility is to snap the football as far as he can during punts and field goals, which have a distance of 15 yards and 7-8 yards respectively. During the play, the job of the snapper is to either deliver the ball to the punter, who is at least 15 yards away during punts or snap it to the holder, who is around 8 yards away.
After the snapping job, the player gets merged with the Défense line and executes the task of blocking the opposite team from taking the ball on the opposite side. A good long snapper is the one who hits the punter’s hand at the respective speed with accuracy. They are supposed to snap the football with intense speed and meticulous precision. The snap of the snapper is the deciding course of the game ahead, so people who are in this position have to inculcate good muscle memory, fast reflexes, and a good understanding of their surroundings to make sound decisions while aiming.
Even though they are an essential part of the game, long snappers have only recently been acknowledged for their position. Twenty years ago, the place of the long snapper was not fixed, rather anyone in the NFL used to take up the position. However, after the emergence of Todd Thomas, long snappers started getting the recognition they deserved.
DUTIES OF A LONG SNAPPER
- The Long Snappers ensure that the team starts off with a good punt that should reach the punter in about.75 seconds.
- Long snappers ensure that the punts or field goals are not missed.
- Long snappers are supposed to be accurate with their kick plays so that the opposing team does not get the chance to score.
- Long snappers are supposed to shoot the ball in a spiral so that it becomes easier to handle.
- Long snappers are supposed to snap the ball in a way that makes the ball travel faster.
- Long snappers are required to snap the ball for it to reach the holder, who will, in turn, hold it for the placekicker, thus enabling the field goal attempt.
Along with these, a long snapper also performs the activity of the defense line stopping players to take the ball to the other side.
Media houses often glamourize the lives of a handful of gridiron football players who earn millions, thus framing an image that all the players can earn an average salary of gazillions. While this might be true for some players, a lot of professional footballers earn according to their positions in the team, which is quarterback, punts, long snappers, and so on, which might not guarantee them a billion dollars.
The salary of an NFL player may also vary according to the experience of the individual. Since salaries vary from person to person, we use median averages. So, according to Spotrac, the average median salary of an individual who is in the position of a long snapper is about 930,463 dollars, but this differs for every individual according to their contract terms. This makes long snappers one of the least paid positions in the field.
For example, Reid Ferguson of the Bills team earns about 1,333,3333 dollars on average, making him one of the highest-paid long snappers in history. This is due to his exquisite skills and techniques that give him an upper hand in the money-making area. The reason why an average long snapper’s salary is comparatively low is because of the smaller number of plays the individual gets since a long snapper is only responsible for kicking and punting the ball as far as one could.
QUICK TIPS FOR ASPIRING NFL LONG SNAPPERS
- Practice a lot: According to the Youth Football Coaches Association, in order to become a part of the special team, the candidate is advised to practice at least 2-3 hours a day every day.
- Discipline and dedication: Any athlete looking to play at a professional level needs to have these qualities in order to succeed and achieve anything.
- Stretching exercises: A lot of athletes tend to forget the importance of stretching exercises, which are essential for keeping the muscles intact and relaxed to carry forward the actual practices in a better manner.
- Practice Snapping progression: In order to get better at snapping, the athlete is required to practice their hand and arm movements to improve their technique.
- Try different rhythms: Players are advised to try different rhythms of throwing so that the opposite team can not map out your motion.
Being an NFL player requires a lot of dedication, skills, and hard work, so an individual aspiring to get onto the playing field, especially at a long snapper’s position, needs to follow a strict regime of practice to be considered and qualified for the post. One must remember that money is not the key to happiness and if you want to play for your state, it should not matter as to how much is the pay, rather how much joy and satisfaction it will bring you if you are part of the winning team for your site.