Broncos release veteran kicker Brandon McManus

Brandon McManus delivered the news himself.

The kicker’s tenure in Denver is coming to an end. The last player on the roster who played in Super Bowl 50 has been released.

So said the veteran himself, announcing his impending departure from the franchise via Twitter on Tuesday, shortly before the team confirmed the news.

“The Broncos have informed me I’ve been released. More to come in the following days,” McManus wrote.

McManus appeared in 144 games over nine seasons for the Broncos and made 223 of 247 field goal attempts in his career. In 2022, he missed eight field goal attempts and two extra points.

“Brandon has been a key player and presence with the Broncos for nearly a decade, making outstanding contributions to our team and community,” Broncos general manager George Paton said in a news release.

“Developing into one of the NFL’s most productive kickers, Brandon made so many clutch kicks for this franchise over the years as a Super Bowl champion and team captain. He will always hold a special place in Denver Broncos history. We thank Brandon for all he did for the Broncos, and we wish him and his great family the very best in the future.”

For much of his career, McManus was considered among the most accurate kickers in the NFL. He topped an 85% conversion rate on field goals three times between 2015 and 2019 and didn’t miss more than one extra point per season over his first six years in the NFL.

He missed three in 2020, though, and two in 2022, though blocked kicks played a role in that uptick. Three of McManus’ nine career misses inside of 40 yards on field goal attempts came in 2022, when he tied for the NFL lead among kickers with eight missed field goals overall and his 77.8% conversion rate on field goals was 28th among kickers with at least 20 attempts.

McManus, though, will be remembered in Denver for not only his longevity but for a prodigious run that helped propel the Broncos to their Super Bowl 50 title. He made all 10 field goal attempts in the postseason that year, including five against Pittsburgh in the divisional round.

His career field goal percentage (81.4%) is second in franchise history behind Matt Prater and his 946 points are second behind Jason Elam.

The Broncos released McManus with a post-June 1 designation, meaning they will carry $1.231 million in dead cap space and save $3.75 million against the 2023 salary cap. McManus was under contract through 2024 with a total of $7.5 million in base salary remaining, but none of it was guaranteed.

The Broncos at the moment do not have a kicker on their roster. They also changed punters earlier in the offseason, signing Riley Dixon and jettisoning Corliss Waitman.

Combined with the new coaching trio of coordinator Ben Kotwica, assistant Chris Banjo and assistant head coach Mike Westhoff, the Broncos special teams units are undergoing a full overhaul.

The kicker market is at an interesting point currently. There are several veterans available including Robbie Gould, Mason Crosby, Ryan Succop, Randy Bullock and Brett Maher. Denver also had a tryout kicker in its rookie minicamp earlier this month: Jared Sackett from UTSA.

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