Brandon McManus

Extra Points: Steelers, Lions, Broncos, Jets

Nat Berhe had a disappointing season in Pittsburgh last year. The safety signed with the Steelers last April, was released at final cuts, and then re-signed before Week 1. He was a minor contributor on defense and special teams for a few weeks, before landing on injured reserve with a pec injury. Berhe remains a free agent now, and he recently told Jeremy Fowler of that he had “some early contact” with the Steelers this offseason (Twitter link).

Berhe also told Fowler that he’s open to returning to the Steelers in 2019, but for now he’s “focused on adding size” before landing in a training camp. A San Diego State product, Berhe originally entered the league as a fifth round pick of the Giants back in 2014. He spent the first four years of his career in New York before signing a one-year, $790K deal with the Steelers. It’s not shocking that teams haven’t exactly been beating down his door to sign him.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • 2019 is going to be a very key season for Lions receiver Marvin Jones. After Detroit traded away Golden Tate, Jones was supposed to take over as the clear top receiver. Unfortunately, Jones’ season was ended in late November by a knee injury. According to Dake Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, there was some drama between Jones and the team after Jones criticized Matt Patricia’s policy of having injured players watch games from the press box on social media. Interestingly, Birkett writes that Jones “doesn’t seem long for a Patricia-coached team that has moved on from other players who aren’t yes-sir-I’ll-do-whatever-you-say types.” That being said, Birkett would be shocked if anything were to happen before the end of the season, as they’re counting on Jones to be a large part of the offense. Still it sounds like Jones, who didn’t participate in OTAs or minicamp due to his injury, might not be in the team’s longterm plans.
  • Heading into last season, the Broncos had one of the most stable kicking situations in the league. They had recently given a huge extension to Brandon McManus, but then McManus struggled last season. He wasn’t himself, and then Denver added former AAF kicker Taylor Bertolet this offseason. Despite the addition of competition, it “doesn’t appear McManus’ job is in any jeopardy,” writes Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post. Per Fredrickson, Broncos coach Vic Fangio recently said McManus is the “obvious incumbent,” and that Bertolet “would have to knock him out like in a heavyweight battle” to win the job.
  • The Jets made a splashy move this offseason by bringing in Le’Veon Bell, but he wasn’t the only running back they added. New York also signed Ty Montgomery, who has apparently been making an impression. Montgomery started his career with the Packers, and was traded to the Ravens at the deadline last season before inking a one-year deal with the Jets in April. Montgomery so far has “been the beneficiary of Le’Veon Bell staying away for much of the voluntary portion of the offseason program,” as he’s “gotten a ton of reps,” according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Costello writes that he’s also the “current favorite to be the kick returner” in 2019. Montgomery was a starter at times for the Packers in 2016 and 2017, but fell out of favor in Green Bay. Playing for only $895K with just $90K of it guaranteed, it sounds like he’s got a decent shot to re-establish himself with the Jets.

Broncos, Brandon McManus Agree To Extension

The Broncos and Brandon McManus have reached agreement on a new deal. It’s a three-year extension that will take him through 2020. "<strong

Brandon [has] made a lot of big kicks and is an important weapon for our team,” general manager John Elway tweeted on Monday morning.

McManus was tendered at the second round level this offseason. He waited a while to put pen to paper in hopes that he would get a long-term deal instead. It took a little while longer than he wanted, but McManus got his extension.

The new pact will start in the 2018 season. The new money portion is worth $11.254MM, including $6MM guaranteed, Ian Rapoport of tweets. McManus now stands as one of the highest-paid kickers in the NFL. In terms of yearly average, Stephen Gostkowski of the Patriots is the league’s highest-paid kicker with $4.3MM per season. Justin Tucker of the Ravens leads the way in terms of total guarantees with $10.8MM and isn’t far behind in average annual value at $4.2MM/year.

McManus has connected on 68-of-82 field goal tries his three seasons with Denver.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos K Brandon McManus Signs Tender

Broncos kicker Brandon McManus has signed his restricted free agent tender, according to Adam Schefter of (on Twitter). The deal will pay him $2.746MM. Schefter adds that a long-term deal is still possible between the two sides. Brandon McManus

The Broncos opted to tender McManus at the second round level this offseason. McManus waited to put pen to paper, however, as he was hoping for a long-term deal instead.

“There’s really no rush for me to sign the tender because it could go through June 15,” McManus said back in May. “I’d love to be here as long as I can and be on a long-term deal here that gives me security. I love Denver. I love the fan base here. I would love to be here four more years so why not see what I can do?”

McManus has appeared in 47 games with the Broncos over the past three seasons, converting 82.9-percent of his field goal attempts. He’s also one of the better kickers in the league for kickoffs, which adds to his overall value. The Broncos would probably like to keep him in the fold beyond 2017, but there’s also no real reason for them to commit right now.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Luck, Hopkins, Bell, Freeman

As he enters his fifth-year option season, DeAndre Hopkins has nothing but great things to say about the Texans, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes.

Those talks are between the Texans and my agent, but this city has embraced me just like my hometown in South Carolina has,” said Hopkins, who’s represented by Creative Artists Agency. “I love being here. I love playing for this team, great organization. Bob McNair and Cal McNair, they do a great job at having an organization that speaks for itself. I thank those guys all the time for picking me 27th when nobody knew who DeAndre Hopkins was.”

Hopkins and Houston are expected to hammer out a new deal this offseason. For now, he’s set to play out the year at a $7.915MM figure.

Let’s check out some other notes from around the league…

  • Colts quarterback Andrew Luck underwent offseason shoulder surgery, and’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that he may not be ready for training camp in July. “To be honest, I have not thought about it,” Luck told Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. “If I’m ready for it, then great. If I’m not, then that’s the way it is. I’m certainly hopeful for it. In my mind all I can do — and I truly feel this way — with this rehab, with my shoulder, I can’t look five months down the road, three months down the road, a week down the road. To me it’s about the next rehab session, the next day. That’s where my focus is and that’s where I think it needs to be to truly get back to 100 percent.” If Luck was forced to miss any time, Scott Tolzien would presumably take starters reps.
  • Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell still hasn’t signed his franchise tender with the organization, and’s Mike Florio wonders what it’d take to sign the Pro Bowler to an extension. Using the franchise tag as a guide, the writer guesses that Bell would request at least a two-year contract worth $26.6MM, with team options accounting for the subsequent years. Of course, considering the player’s injury and suspension history, Florio guesses that the Steelers would request some type of per-game bonuses. He also assumes that Bell would be seeking a lucrative roster bonus in an attempt to immediately pocket as much as money as possible.
  • Brandon McManus hasn’t signed his restricted free agent tender contract with the Broncos, but Mike Klis of 9News in Denver tweets that the veteran kicker is not “protesting,” noting that the 25-year-old is participating in minicamp. McManus has appeared in 47 games with the Broncos over the past three seasons, converting 82.9-percent of his field goal attempts.
  • Former NFL quarterback Josh Freeman worked out with the Montreal Alouettes today, reports Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette (via Twitter). The former first-rounder’s last NFL appearance came in 2015, when he threw for 149 yards and one touchdown in a start for the Colts. Between 2010 and 2012, Freeman started 47 games for the Buccaneers.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Broncos’ Brandon McManus Wants New Deal

Broncos kicker Brandon McManus is the only restricted free agent yet to sign his tender, but that’s by design, as McManus hopes to receive a long-term extension, as Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post writes.Teddy Bridgewater (Vertical)

“There’s really no rush for me to sign the tender because it could go through June 15,” McManus said. “I’d love to be here as long as I can and be on a long-term deal here that gives me security. I love Denver. I love the fan base here. I would love to be here four more years so why not see what I can do?”

Denver tendered McManus at the second-round level, meaning he’ll earn a non-guaranteed base salary of $2.746MM in 2017. McManus, who is attending Broncos’ workouts despite being unsigned, didn’t generate any known interest during the restricted free agent period, so he essentially has two options: sign his tender, or sit out the season. If McManus doesn’t ink the tender by June 15, Denver can reduce his salary to 110% of his 2016 pay, which would amount to just $660K.

McManus, 25, converted 29 of 34 field goal attempts last season, and his 85.3% conversion rate ranked 17th in the NFL. He missed just one extra point, and managed 50 touchbacks on kickoffs, good for 14th in the league. Overall, the Broncos gained 1.5 points on field goals, but lost a whopping 8.6 points on kickoffs, according to Football Outsiders‘ DVOA metric.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Place Tender On Brandon McManus

The Broncos have placed a hefty second-round tender on restricted free agent kicker Brandon McManus, reports’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). A second-round tender is valued at $2.746MM.

Brandon McManusThe Broncos now have the opportunity to match any offer sheet to the kicker, and they’ll be compensated with a second-round pick if the veteran signs elsewhere.

After losing the starting job, McManus served mostly as a kickoff specialist during his first season in the league. However, he has handled full-time kicking duties over the past two years. The 25-year-old has made at least 85-percent of his field goals since 2015, and he’s connected on 8-of-13 field goals beyond 50 yards. The former undrafted free agent has only missed two extra point attempts over the past two seasons.

Mike Klis of 9News reports (via Twitter) that inside linebacker Todd Davis also received a second-round tender from the Broncos. In 15 starts last season, the 24-year-old collected 64 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and one forced fumble.

We’ve been collecting the rest of today’s tenders here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Sign Ronnie Hillman

6:23pm: The Broncos have announced the deal, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

5:18pm: Hillman’s one-year deal is worth $2MM, with roughly $600K guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link).

4:12pm: After letting them become free agents last month, the Broncos have now re-signed each of their top two running backs from their Super Bowl team. According to Mike Klis of 9NEWS (via Twitter), the Broncos have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent back Ronnie Hillman.Ronnie Hillman

[RELATED: Broncos sign Shiloh Keo, Brandian Ross]

Hillman, 24, will return to Denver to pair with his old backfield mate C.J. Anderson, who signed a four-year offer sheet with the Dolphins that was ultimately matched by the Broncos. While Anderson may be first in line for carries going forward, given the length and worth of his contract, Hillman was the Broncos’ leading rusher in 2015, totaling 863 yards and seven touchdowns on 207 regular-season carries.

While Hillman had a solid regular season for the Broncos, his free agent stock may have been negatively impacted by his postseason performance. With Anderson carrying the majority of the load, racking up 234 yards and two TDs on 54 carries, Hillman had just 54 yards on 32 playoff carries (1.7 yards per attempt), and failed to reach the end zone.

The Packers were reportedly “poking around” on Hillman (and other running backs) near the end of March, and he was believed to have a few other potential suitors as well, but he’ll return to Denver for at least one more season.

The Broncos have also officially brought back kicker Brandon McManus, who signed his ERFA tender, according to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Release Connor Barth

To accommodate their signing of free agent guard Evan Mathis, the Broncos have created a spot on their roster by releasing Connor Barth, tweets Adam Caplan of The move indicates that Brandon McManus has won Denver’s kicking job.

Barth, 29, was signed by the Broncos last November to replace McManus, who was struggling with his accuracy. The former Buccaneers kicker finished the season by making 15 of 16 field goals for Denver, but was beat out in camp this year by McManus. The 24-year-old has the bigger leg of the two players, and can handle kickoffs better, but made just nine of 13 field goal attempts in his rookie year in 2014.

While the move is bad news for Barth in the short term, he immediately becomes one of the most talented kickers on the free agent market. If another team has its kicker go down with an injury or perform poorly in the early going, Barth figures to be one of the first potential replacements to get a call.

Minor Moves: Saturday

Here are Saturday’s minor moves, with the most recent transactions added to the top of the list:

  • Washington has placed cornerback Chase Minnifield on injured reserve, reports Mike Jones of the Washington Post (via Twitter). The team promoted defensive back Kenny Okoro to the 53-man roster.
  • The Seahawks have promoted wide receiver Chris Matthews from their practice squad to the active roster, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter).
  • The Steelers have activated outside linebacker Jarvis Jones off the injured reserve-designated to return, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). The team placed cornerback Cortez Allen on injured reserve to make room for Jones.
  • The Patriots have activated defensive tackle Sealver Siliga from the injured reserve-designated to return, reports Field Yates of (via Twitter). Siliga will join the active roster in time for the Sunday Night matchup against the Chargers tomorrow.

Earlier Updates

  • The Broncos‘ kicking carousel continues, as Mike Klis of the Denver Post tweets that the team has promoted kicker Brandon McManus from the practice squad. The former undrafted free agent made his NFL debut with Denver earlier this season, connecting on nine of his 13 attempts. To make room, the team waived returner Isaiah Burse.
  • The Giants have signed linebacker/defensive end Paul Hazel from their practice squad, tweets’s Dan Graziano. The 24-year-old appeared in 13 games with the Browns last season. To make room on the roster, the team released defensive tackle Dominique Hamilton.
  • Washington has promoted linebacker Gabe Miller from their practice squad to the 53-man roster, according to agent Brett Tessler (via Twitter). A fifth-round pick in the 2011 draft, the 27-year-old finally made his NFL debut earlier this season. To make room on the roster, the team cut third-year wideout Aldrick Robinson (via ESPN’s John Keim on Twitter). Robinson signed a one-year deal with Washington following a solid 2013 campaign, but he hasn’t seen the field since Week 5.
  • The Ravens have activated cornerback Asa Jackson from the injured reserve, tweets’s Jamison Hensley. The former fifth-rounder started four games earlier this season before succumbing to a foot injury. The team also placed undrafted rookie Tramain Jacobs on the injured reserve.

Broncos To Sign McManus To Practice Squad

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here..

  • Broncos are re-signing kicker Brandon McManus to the taxi squad, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post (via Twitter). To make room, Denver has released defensive end Gerald Rivers. McManus was brought aboard to start the year after then-starter Matt Prater was hit with a four-game suspension. When Prater was let go, McManus was named the full time kicker, but his run ended a few weeks ago after a handful of missed field goal tries.