Broncos sign an emergency kicker, former XFL player Taylor Russolino
The Broncos brought in Taylor Russolino as their emergency kicker.
The Broncos have signed an insurance policy for Brandon McManus, and considering the quarterback fiasco the team just underwent this makes a lot of sense.
McManus just signed a $17.2 Million extension and this new signing is no reflection of the team’s confidence in his leg, but it is a wise move to hedge their bets in case he becomes unavailable for a game or two.
Taylor Russolino is a great option to serve as an understudy at kicker, and he has an incredible leg. He flew relatively under the radar at Millsaps College, but turned heads in his sophomore campaign, making First-Team All-SCAC and leading the conference in scoring.
To keep his football dreams going, he took his talents all around the world, taking opportunities wherever they came. He started off kicking for American indoor and arena leagues and even played for the Shanghai Skywalkers in the Chinese Arena Football League (CAFL), where he sealed off a playoff win with a field goal in 2016.
Russolino really made a name for himself in the XFL this past spring, making 9-of-10 field goals for the St. Louis BattleHawks with a Long of 58 (tied with B-Mac’s career-best). While the XFL may be a different brand of football in many regards, the placekicking is no different than what we see in the NFL, and more than a few XFL kickers and punters are now finding jobs at the next level.
He has also had stints with the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL and as a camp leg around the NFL in recent years, with tryouts in Tampa Bay, Chicago, and now Denver.
His leg is as powerful as it is reliable, and there’s even footage circulating online of him hitting not one, but two field goals from 70 yards. He has also served as a punter in the CFL and can handle kickoff duties, making this is a versatile special teams stash to have on the practice squad.
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Hopefully, the team will not be in a position where they have to turn to him, but if his number is called, Taylor Russolino will serve as a quality fill-in for McManus, or even Sam Martin at Punter.