Report: Broncos Re-Sign K Brandon McManus to Practice Squad


According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the Denver Broncos have decided to sign kicker Brandon McManus to their practice squad. McManus was the team’s kicker going into the regular season and then the Broncos felt good enough about him as a prospect that they decided to part ways with the best kicker in the league in 2013, Matt Prater.

Prater was let go, signed with the Detroit Lions, and has had his struggles but is now kicking pretty well. McManus, on the other hand, had the lowest field goal percentage in the NFL at under 70 percent. A missed field goal from under 40 yards was the tipping point for the Broncos, who opted to let McManus go in the following days in favor of veteran Connor Barth, who had missed all of 2013 with a foot injury.

Barth was formerly a franchise player for the Buccaneers who came back from injury and was beaten out of the preseason by rookie Patrick Murray. Barth joined the tryout with Prater for the Detroit Lions, but didn’t win the job, and then competed against Jay Feely for the Broncos’ kicking job last week. He won the job, and won the day on Sunday Night Football when he tied a team record with five field goals on his way to 17 points in his Broncos debut.

Not a bad start.

Still, the glaring weakness in Barth’s game — and conditions played a major factor in this — is his ability to kick the ball off. McManus was third in the NFL in touchback percentage, so the Broncos obviously want to have him on hand in case things get out of hand. As a kickoff specialist, McManus was a beast for the Broncos, but Denver traded his ability to kick the ball out of the end zone for someone who could kick it through the uprights.

Now, they have both players. It’s entirely possible that McManus is called up to the active roster if Barth struggles this weekend against the Bills on kickoffs. Kicking in the Denver air, there’s almost no reason other than significant winds that would prevent Barth from kicking consistent touchbacks. If his leg strength proves an issue, the Broncos could promote McManus to the active roster, though that would leave them with a total of four specialists on the team between Barth, long snapper Aaron Brewer, and punt returner Isaiah Burse. David Bruton is also kept on the roster primarily for his abilities on special teams.

The Broncos are trying to do whatever they can to rectify their special teams, which has not been good this year. Last week against Kansas City was a significant improvement, but they need to build off of that. McManus is again a member of the Broncos, so we’ll see if he returns to the active roster at any point.