The Denver Broncos are now in need of a new kicker after the somewhat surprising decision to cut Brandon McManus as the team was getting ready to assemble for another week of OTAs in May. With McManus -- previously the longest-tenured player on the roster -- now out of the picture, who is about to come into frame for the Denver Broncos?
The team did not draft anyone or sign anyone after the draft. They didn't bring in competition earlier in the offseason. What veterans are still available and what players could realistically be on the way to Denver?
Let's take a look at a handful of the best available options.
Denver Broncos kicker options following release of Brandon McManus
1. Mason Crosby
Mason Crosby will be 39 to start the season and just like Brandon McManus is saying goodbye to the Broncos after being one of the team's longest-tenured players, he's ending a long career with the Packers after playing in Green Bay since he was drafted there in 2007.
Crosby played his college ball at Colorado, so coming to play for the Denver Broncos would bring his career full-circle in a way. Can he still kick entering his age 39 season? He made all but one of his kicks inside of 50 last season and had a season-long of 56 (not far off his career-long of 58). He did miss 3/4 kicks from 50-plus in 2022, but was 7/8 from 50-plus in the two seasons prior.
2. Brett Maher
The name Brett Maher right now makes a lot of football fans cringe because of the fact that he seemingly got the yips for the Cowboys during last year's playoffs. He missed a stunning five extra points in the Cowboys' postseason last year, which is part of the reason he's still available right now.
Still, he's made kicks of 60-plus yards in three of the last four seasons. He has only missed two kicks inside of 50 in his last 25 NFL games and has made 90 percent of his field goals in that timeframe regardless of distance. Last year for the Cowboys, he hit on 9-of-11 attempts from 50-yards or longer, so he's got a booming leg.
Extremely notable note here: Maher kicked for the Saints for eight games in 2021 when Sean Payton was still the coach there.
3. Robbie Gould
Robbi "solid" Gould is one of the NFL's great kickers of all-time. He's made 86.5 percent of his career kicks, over 500 in total, and he's obviously a grizzled veteran at the position. Unfortunately, Gould missed five kicks inside of 50 last season and isn't a huge threat to come onto the field if you need someone to make one from 55-plus.
He might get a bit more distance in the Mile High air, but I am not sure Gould is the best option at this point in time.
4. Randy Bullock
Randy Bullock was a fifth-round pick by the Houston Texans once upon a time, and he's still been kicking pretty well these days in the NFL. He made 85 percent of his kicks last year, but he's only attempted three kicks beyond 50 yards the last couple of seasons. He has also missed four kicks from 40-49 the last two seasons.
5. Ryan Succop
Once the Mr. Irrelevant pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Draft, Ryan Succop has had a really nice NFL career.
Come to think of it, kicker might be one of those no-brainer picks with a Mr. Irrelevant selection if you can find one you like there.
Succop made 31-of-38 field goals last season, so seven misses is not exactly ideal, although five of those misses came from 50-plus. He's made almost 83 percent of his career kicks.