We often forget that the long snapper is a position on the Miami Dolphins roster and will take up one roster spot on the final 53.
The reality of the NFL and thus the Miami Dolphins is that the final 53 man roster is really a final 50 man roster. Three roster spots are allocated to the kicker, punter, and long snapper. In a perfect world, the 50 remaining spots would be equally divided between the offense and defense.
Dolphins fans have been very spoiled in recent years with the long snapper position. Consider the history of the position for the Dolphins.
- John Denney: 2005 to 2018. Never missed a game
- Ed Perry: 1997 to 2005. Lost the LS job to Denney
After Denney’s departure in 2018, the Dolphins gave the job to Taybor Pepper. Pepper lasted one season with the Dolphins and played last year with the 49ers. Replacing him was Blake Ferguson who ironically is very close to the Pepper family.
Ferguson did well last year but this year he will see competition for the job. Rex Sunahara will compete in camp for the role of long snapper. Does he have a shot at taking over the position? Hard to say honestly, it is after all the long snapper but make no mistake, this is a vital position on the team and not something that the other offensive lineman can do, at least with any consistency.
Sunahara was signed by the Dolphins in 2019 as an undrafted free agent out of West Virginia. He lost the camp battle to Taybor Pepper but this year will compete against the guy that beat out Pepper for the job in 2020.
If you take a look at the salary cap and then make a guess, there isn’t much there to sway the Dolphins either. Ferguson will make $827K this year and all but $142K is recoverable. Sunahara will make the league minimum of $600K and none of that is guaranteed.
This will be a competition but Ferguson has the experience of last season whereas Sunahara has none at all. While it may seem like Ferguson is the clear winner, we have to remember that we thought the same thing in 2019 when Ferguson came into compete against Pepper.