Brandon McManus

Broncos To Pick Up Options On K Brandon McManus, LB Todd Davis

A pair of veterans will be back with the Broncos next season. General manager John Elway told reporters (including Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post) that Denver’s picking up the options on kicker Brandon McManus and linebacker Todd Davis. Meanwhile, the Broncos won’t be picking up lineman Ronald Leary‘s option.

McManus has been the team’s full-time kicker since 2014, and he had another solid year during his age-28 season. The veteran connected on 85.3-percent of his field goal attempts and 96.2-percent of his extra point tries last season. McManus signed a three-year extension prior to the 2017 season, and the extra option year will count $4.25MM against the cap.

Davis has also been with the organization since the 2014 season, and he’s continued to evolve into one of the organization’s most productive players. Despite appearing in only 14 games last season, the 27-year-old finished with a career-high 134 tackles. Davis has a cap number of $6MM for next season.

Leary would have counted $9.3MM against the cap next season, and the decision to avoid his option will save the organization around $8.44MM. Denver signed the offensive guard to a four-year deal back in 2017, and he’s started all 29 of his games during his stint with the team. Unfortunately, each of his three seasons with the Broncos ended on the injured reserve.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Players Split On 17 Game Schedule?

The NFL and NFLPA are hoping to agree on the next CBA prior to the start of free agency. The current CBA does not expire at that point but set to expire at the end of the next league year, players and teams would both benefit from knowing what the future structure of the league (especially the salary cap) would look like.

While there have been no recent updates on the situation, it has been widely reported that the league would advocate adding a 17th game to the regular season to increase revenues. Players were expected to be united in opposition to this expansion, but that might not be as clear as previously believed.

Mike Klis of 9News.com talked with Broncos’ union rep-kicker Brandon McManus-about the current status of the situation. McManus discussed talking to his teammates after the last union meeting in detail, but his notes on the disparate responses to a 17-game schedule could have some interesting ramifications.

McManus noted that the additional share of revenue ownership is offering in compensation would have a big impact on players towards the bottom of the pay scale. However, veterans and other high-paid players have greater financial flexibility and can prioritize their health to a greater degree. Still, McManus said he was personally not in favor of an expanded schedule and it would likely require some large concessions from ownership.

Also of note, McManus “can’t fathom” an agreement getting done before free-agency.

Broncos Notes: Free Agents, Simmons, McManus

Broncos Hall of Fame quarterback turned president of football operations John Elway has not needed to break the bank retaining the team’s free agents over the past few years. Ryan O’Halloran of The Denver Post opines that this offseason may force Denver to change that approach. O’Halloran looks at every Bronco set for free agency and analyzes whether the team should try to resign them.

Veterans Chris Harris and Derek Wolfe highlight a crop that includes multiple starters and a number of main rotational pieces. At just 3-8, Denver has a lot of holes to fill, but they will have over $70MM in cap space to target more outside talent and retain the internal players they want to keep.

Here’s more from the franchise in the Mile High City:

  • Regardless of how Denver handles the rest of their free-agent crop, the Broncos need to retain safety Justin Simmons, opines Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post. While the team obviously hopes to return to contention as soon as possible, the team has to wonder whether players like Harris and Wolfe will still be playing at a good enough level by the time they turn it around. Just 26 years old, Simmons fits for the franchise regardless of how long it takes them to rebuild.
  • While it had little impact on the outcome of the Broncos 20-3 loss on Sunday against the Bills, kicker Brandon McManus told reporters postgame that the weather conditions in Buffalo resulted in the most difficult kick of his career, according to Ryan O’Halloran of The Denver Post. With seventeen mile per hour winds at kickoff, McManus managed to make a 45-yard field goal kicking against the win, accounting for the teams only points. However, his two kickoffs against the win failed to reach the Bills ten-yard line.

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 ESPN.com 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 NFL.com 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 ESPN.com (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 ESPN.com’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 ProFootballTalk.com’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 NFL.com’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.

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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 NFL.com (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.