Nov 2, 2013; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers kicker Mitch Ewald (16) kicks a field goal during the first half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
In somewhat of a shocking move, the Denver Broncos have signed…a kicker?
Despite Matt Prater being arguably the best kicker in the NFL last year, that’s exactly what they did. Denver agreed to a contract with rookie free agent Mitch Ewald, a former teammate of fellow rookie Cody Latimer as a member of the Indiana Hoosiers. Ewald broke the news on his personal Twitter page:
It’s not been overly abnormal for the Broncos to have an additional kicker in camp. Heck, the Steve Hauschka, the kicker for the (wrld chmpn) Seattle Seahawks was cut by the Broncos after splitting time with Matt Prater in the pre-season a couple of years ago.
Denver also was the first team to sign Garrett Hartley, who was the kicker for the Saints when they won the Super Bowl.
So I guess the key to being a Super Bowl champion kicker is to get cut by the Broncos before the season starts?
Either way, this kid can kick the football really well. He’s Indiana’s all-time leader in field goals with 53 and connected on 80.3 percent of his attempts over the course of his career. He was invited to participate in Chicago Bears rookie camp earlier this offseason.
I’m not sure what the Broncos’ strategy is here, unless it’s to help this kid get a job somewhere else. If you’re really a conspiracy theorist, you might look at it this way…
Matt Prater has two years and over $6 million remaining on his contract. Depending how this kid does in camp, the Broncos could potentially part ways with Prater and his contract though that would be a really unpopular decision given the season he just had and the records he set. However, the Broncos are trying to get new deals for Demaryius and Julius Thomas. Perhaps Prater’s cap number could be cleared in favor of a cheaper, younger option to get it done.
I don’t foresee that happening, but this kid gets to live out a dream and kick for the Broncos, even if just for a short time.