September 22nd, 2020 at 2:53pm CST by Sam Robinson
Tyrod Taylor could be on the verge of being benched in September for a second time in three seasons. A chest injury he was battling caused Justin Herbert to be called upon Sunday, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo report Taylor received a pregame injection to the area (Twitter link). Complications ensued, prompting Chargers HC Anthony Lynn to call on Herbert. While the No. 6 overall pick fared better than could be expected, given the lack of offseason prep time, Lynn has not named him the Chargers’ Week 3 starter. The fourth-year coach said he will turn back to Taylor when he is “100%” recovered from the chest setback.
Whether “100%” will be how the Bolts justify keeping Herbert in the lineup or not, it would seem difficult for the team to give the job back to its bridge starter. The Chargers drafted a quarterback in the first four rounds for the first time since 2006 and saw him throw for 311 yards in an overtime loss, making it entirely possible Taylor is benched again. The Browns sidelined Taylor after three starts in 2017.
Here is the latest from the AFC West:
Von Miller has not given up on returning this season. The Broncos‘ future Hall of Fame linebacker has been studying how some non-NFL athletes returned in three months from the injury he suffered — as opposed to the four- to six-month timetable he was given after suffering a dislocated peroneal tendon — and has told teammates he could return in mid-December, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. However, since this report surfaced, the Broncos lost Drew Lock for perhaps more than a month and Courtland Sutton for the season. They are already down A.J. Bouye and Phillip Lindsay for the foreseeable future, making a playoff run more difficult to envision. As for Miller’s long-term future, the 31-year-old pass rusher has told teammates he is eyeing five or six more seasons, per La Canfora. This tracks with previous Miller plans.
Speaking of Lindsay, the Pro Bowl running back will almost certainly miss Week 3 and may be out longer. Rather than turf toe, Lindsay is dealing with a toe sprain, Rapoport notes. This represents a tough break for the UDFA success story, who was discussing an extension shortly after last season’s conclusion. However, the Broncos instead opted to sign Melvin Gordon to a two-year, $8MM deal. Lindsay is set for restricted free agency in 2021.
Brandon McManus‘ four-year, $17MM Broncos extension will guarantee the Denver kicker $4MM in 2021, but Mike Klis of 9News notes the deal’s final three seasons are not guaranteed (Twitter link). McManus is due to earn base salaries of $3MM (2022), $3.75MM (’23) and $3.95MM (’24) over the course of the deal, which also came with a $2.5MM signing bonus. The Broncos have used McManus as their kicker since 2014 but are not committed to him beyond 2021.
Richie Incognito left Monday night’s Raiders win with an Achilles issue, but the veteran guard may not miss any time. Incognito aggravated a previous injury but did not suffer a tear, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The Raiders were already down right tackle Trent Brown, due to a reportedly not serious calf injury, and backup tackle Sam Young against the Saints.
The Broncos are holding on to Brandon McManus for the foreseeable future. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported last night (via Twitter) that the veteran kicked has signed a four-year extension with Denver. The deal is worth $17.2MM with $9.5MM in guaranteed money.
The 29-year-old was traded from the Giants to the Broncos prior to the 2014 campaign, and McManus has unexpectedly become one of the most accurate kickers in franchise history. He ranks second in Broncos history in field goal percentage (81.5%), and he holds the franchise record for best postseason field goal percentage.
McManus is also 11 field goals away from jumping both Matt Prater and Jim Turner for second-most field goals made in franchise history, and he currently sits fifth on the Broncos’ all-time scoring list. Of course, McManus already earned a spot in Broncos lore after connecting on all 10 of his field goal attempts during the Broncos’ run to a Super Bowl championship.
McManus was productive once again in 2019. He connected on 29 of his 34 field goal attempts, and he was a perfect 15-for-15 from within the 40. The veteran also connected on 25 of his 26 extra point tries.
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.
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.
November 24th, 2019 at 6:57pm CST by Marc Delucchi
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.
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.