Former Alabama Specialist Finds New NFL Home
Former Alabama long snapper, Carson Tinker was picked up by the New York Giants today after being out of football since 2019 when the Jacksonville Jaguars released him.
Tinker was the Jags main long snapper from 2013-2016 until a torn ACL caused him to miss the 2017 season, and upon returning for 5 games in 2018 he suffered another knee injury, missing the remainder of the season.
With the roster deadline approaching Sept. 5, the Giants will be forced to cut down from an 80-man roster, already featuring a long snapper, to a 53-man roster. The Giants already have Casey Kreiter, a 5th year pro bowler, after signing him to a one-year deal this offseason.
With one established long snapper on the roster, this begs the question: Why sign another one? The Giants may be planning to keep Tinker on the practice squad on account of the NFL raising the amount of players that can be carried on a teams practice squad from 10 to 16. Being able to use, what is now, an extra spot on the practice squad for a backup long snapper makes sense for any team to do.
Tinker has a prior relationship with new Giants head coach Joe Judge. Judge worked as as special teams assistant for three years at Alabama while Tinker was a student-athlete. Long snappers are harder to come by than one might think, and if the starter goes down to injury or COVID-19 he would be tough to replace with someone unexperienced.
With the NFL's new COVID-19 rules allowing for extra spots on the practice squad, this roster moves makes great sense. It's likely we will see other teams in the next few days sign extra specialist positions as preventative measures for this season.