Broncos Trying Out Kickers Jay Feely, Connor Barth This Week


Dec 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely (4) against the San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After kicker Brandon McManus missed a 33-yard field goal that elicited one of the most angry responses on the Denver Broncos sideline that I have seen in quite some time, the Broncos apparently have seen enough.

McManus has a heck of a leg, but he can’t consistently put the ball through the uprights. That can be coached, but the Broncos aren’t really in a position right now where they can afford to be patient. McManus hasn’t made a kick of 50 yards or longer yet, something that Matt Prater did with relative ease in his incredible 2013 campaign, where he was almost without question the best kicker in the NFL.

As Prater’s play started to deteriorate, compounded with his suspension by the NFL, the Broncos had seen enough and decided to trade for McManus, who was surprisingly kept in favor of Prater after his suspension ended. The vote of confidence in McManus has paid off in terms of touchbacks on kickoffs, where McManus is one of the best in the league, but he is arguably the worst field goal kicker in the NFL right now.

It’s a tough position, because the Broncos can’t give him time to develop. Special teams has not been special for the Broncos this season, and they need something more stable from their kicker spot. So, they are bringing in veterans Jay Feely — formerly of the Cardinals — and Connor Barth — formerly of the Buccaneers — for workouts on  Tuesday.

May the best man win.

Feely is best known by Broncos fans for single-leggedly defeating the Broncos back in 2010 when Denver’s head coach was Eric Studesville, Kyle Orton made his final start for the team, and the Broncos were on their way to the worst season since anyone could really remember. Feely made five field goals in the game, along with four extra points and a rushing touchdown on a fake field goal.

He obliterated the Broncos.

Barth, 28, is coming off of an Achilles injury suffered in a charity basketball game, but might be entering the prime of his career. He’s been a really solid kicker through his time in the NFL, and made 6-of-9 attempts from 50 yards or longer in 2012 with the Buccaneers.

Personally, I would take either of these veterans on the Broncos for a playoff run. We’ll see what happens, if the team chooses to keep McManus for his kickoff ability and the fact that they dropped a draft pick to acquire him, or if they will cut ties all together.