Anthony Kukwa doesn’t want to be left out of the final 53 after getting signed by the Raiders.
Anthony Kukwa was recently signed by the Oakland Raiders to a non-guaranteed contract worth three-year and $1.6 million, but he’s far from safe before he can make the final 53. After not getting invited to a “Pro Day” and going undrafted, the journey’s far from over for this young Raider.
Father of two, Kukwa played different positions at Lake Erie College and did anything he could within his power to not just excel, but to be noticed by NFL scouts as well. He waited to be drafted as he was one of the two highest-ranked long snappers to declare for the 2017 NFL Draft (Cole Mazza being the other).
Battle of the Long-SnappersEmbed from Getty Images
Even though he wasn’t drafted, he was eventually picked by the Raiders where he won’t be handed the long snapper job because he faces competition from incumbent long snapper Jon Condo.
Condo originally joined the Raiders in 2006, making him the second longest-tenured player after Sebastian Janikowski. He could potentially be let go because of his age (he will be 36 when the season starts), but it wouldn’t make sense as he just signed a contract extension earlier this year. If anything, he can feel relatively safe for the moment as he is better acquainted with his fellow special-teamers: Marquette King and Janikowski.
On advantage Kukwa does have over Condo is having played different positions back in college. When asked to play tight-end, he did so as he was given honors. Likewise, he played a little linebacker when called upon and although his pro-day numbers were nothing out of the ordinary, they were rather good for a player who is just supposed to “snap the ball“.
Kukwa isn’t missing motivation to make it to the final 53, he just needs to overcome longer odds than other players, which at this point, he has proven himself capable of doing. When his kids grow up, they can look up to him knowing that their dad never gave up and that’s motivation in itself.
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