On a list of unsung positions in sports, being a long snapper has to near the top. Ironic really when you consider the obvious importance of the position as having to resort to a field goal, or worse a punt, is often bad enough as it usually indicates your drive has ended, but imagine the momentum change possibilities of bad snaps causing botched punts and/or missed field goals. Of course we also have the bad snap on an extra point which does just cost one point, but bottom line is your opponent is likely not going to miss any of their extra-point opportunities. The Miami Dolphins are fortunate to have one of the best in the NFL, two-time Pro Bowl snapper John Denney.
I myself forget that Denney has been a Dolphin since 2005, and this guy has developed into a legit Pro Bowl threat annually at this point. Denney goes back and forth with Jon Condo of the Oakland Raiders for best long-snapper in the AFC, difference being Condo makes over $1 million annually and is the highest paid at the position while Denney is at $870,000, sixth highest paid. Both are free-agents after this season so interestingly enough that is a 2013 storyline (granted, likely just for the hardcore fans!).
Denney was a long-snapper at Brigham Young University, and he also played defensive end. As a pro he has seen time on special teams, but Denney’s value comes from establishing himself as a top-tier long snapper. The Seinfeld fan is the younger brother of former Buffalo Bills defensive end Ryan Denney. Dolfans may remember Ryan Denney as a guy who only played well vs the ‘Phins. In 8 career games vs Miami he totaled seven sacks with only 16.5 sacks in his other 105 NFL games.
Denney took over the long-snapper duties in 2005 which came on the heels of Ed Perry who was the man for the ‘Phins for several seasons. For the longest time this organization has been trying to replace Dan Marino, but at least they have had a top-tier long snapper for about 14-15 years. That counts as something, right? Hey, I’m giddy considering the offseason moves this team has made so forgive me for being pumped about the long-snapper situation!