Elliott Fry

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/22/23

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: CB Elijah Hamilton
  • Waived/injured: OL Jake Hanson

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Signed: LB Tae Crowder
  • Waived/injured: OT Andrew Trainer

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

  • Claimed off waivers (from Panthers): DL Marquan McCall
  • Released: WR Tre Nixon

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: WR Malik Flowers
  • Waived: CB Montrae Braswell

Tae Crowder has found his next gig after getting cut by the Steelers in May. The former Mr. Irrelevant spent the first three seasons of his career with the Giants, including a 2021 season where he compiled 130 tackles and a pair of interceptions. He started only eight of his 13 appearances last season before getting cut, but he quickly caught on with Pittsburgh’s practice squad. Entering his age-26 season, Crowder is a low-risk option for the Chargers, but he could provide big returns if he can show his form from 2021.

Marquan McCall was a surprise cut by the Panthers earlier this week. The former UDFA ended up getting into 16 games for the Panthers last season, finishing with 15 tackles, two TFLs, and one QB hit. He’ll now look to catch on in New England. He’ll be taking a roster spot from wideout Tre Nixon. The former seventh-round pick has spent the past few seasons on New England’s practice squad but never got into a regular season game.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/16/23

Here are today’s minor transactions from around the NFL:

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

  • Waived from IR with injury settlement: WR Trey Quinn

Green Bay Packers

  • Waived from IR with injury settlement: WR Jeff Cotton

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Reverted to IR: CB Anthony Witherstone

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Signed: CB Matt Hankins
  • Waived/injured: CB Kemon Hall

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Fry goes unclaimed on the waiver wire after being waived with an injury designation yesterday by the Broncos. This could mean that Brett Maher won’t be able to run away with the job to replace longtime kicker Brandon McManus this year. With Fry remaining on the roster, Maher will need to stay sharp in order to stay the only active kicker on the team’s depth chart.

Guidry is expected to undergo surgery after injuring his knee in a joint practice with the Buccaneers today, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. The Jets will hope he lasts through waivers as he has impressed so far in camp. If he does, New York will likely revert him to injured reserve in order to keep him on the roster.

Broncos Waive K Elliott Fry

The in-game portion of the Broncos’ kicking competition began with misses by both specialists. Brett Maher and Elliott Fry each missed their first field goal tries in Friday’s preseason opener in Arizona. Denver will now shift to a new phase in its search to fill Brandon McManus‘ longtime role.

Denver waived Fry with an injury designation Tuesday, with 9News’ Mike Klis noting the young kicker tweaked a lower-body injury (Twitter link). It is not believed to be a serious setback, but the Broncos moved on from Fry to clear a roster spot for a long snapper signing. The team added Jack Landherr.

Maher, 33, is now the only kicker on the Broncos’ 90-man roster. Fry pulled a muscle, per Sean Payton, who has not ruled out bringing in another kicker to compete with Maher, Chris Tomasson of the Denver Gazette tweets.

Fry, 28, joined the Broncos shortly after their McManus release, catching on with yet another team to continue a nomadic NFL journey. Fry, who has kicked in three NFL games (from 2020-21) and done so with three separate teams, was with the Cardinals earlier this offseason. After a May Arizona exit, Fry wound up in Denver after a workout.

Maher received the first opportunity against the Cardinals, missing a 47-yard field goal in the first quarter. Payton then summoned Fry for the team’s second field goal attempt — from 50 yards — but that misfired as well. Fry, however, rebounded to make a 55-yarder in the second quarter. Maher finished the game 0-for-2 on his field goal tries, having seen a 52-yard attempt blocked as well.

McManus had served as the Broncos’ kicker for the past nine seasons; he is now with the Jaguars. Veteran options remain on the market. Robbie Gould, Mason Crosby, Ryan Succop and Randy Bullock are unsigned. It would surprise if the Broncos handed the job to Maher, who capped a strong 2022 Cowboys regular season (90.6% FG accuracy) with a disastrous two-game playoff effort.

A UCLA alum, Landherr participated in the Broncos’ rookie minicamp in May. Mitchell Fraboni sits as the other long snapper on Denver’s roster. Fraboni snapped in four Broncos games last season, marking the only regular-season experience of his NFL career.

Broncos To Conduct Training Camp K Competition

The Broncos will have a kicker not named Brandon McManus in place at the start of the 2023 season, but it remains to be seen who his successor will be. Only one kicker is on Denver’s roster at the moment, but that is likely to change in the near future.

Elliot Fry took part in spring practices for Denver after signing with the team last month. His lone competition at that point was veteran Randy Bullock, who was brought in on a tryout basis without joining the team’s 90-man roster. The former will be a participant in the Broncos’ kicking competition during training camp, but it remains to be seen who will be challenging him.

Mike Klis of 9News notes that at least one addition at the position will be coming in time for next month, which could include Bullock or another experienced option on the lookout for a new opportunity. The likes of Robbie Gould, Mason Crosby, Ryan Succop and Brett Maher remain unsigned, and it will be interesting to monitor their markets as teams look for upgrades or participants in their own competitions. Klis adds that roster cuts could be another source of Denver’s eventual Week 1 kicker.

Fry, 28, has made just three regular season appearances during his career (the most recent of which came in 2021), so his spot is certainly far from assured heading into training camp. Bullock, by contrast, has 138 games of experience but was let go by the Titans as part of a widespread cost-cutting effort on the team’s part. Either of those two, or another addition to be made later, will face the challenge of effectively replacing McManus after his nine-year run in the Mile High City which included generally consistent performances along with a dip in accuracy last season.

“Making that transaction was a tough call,” special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica said on the decision to release McManus. “I think there was a lot of thought going into that… He’s done a lot of great things, but that’s part of the business. Transactions occur, and there will be more transactions. We wish him nothing but the best.

Going to Jacksonville, I think that’s a great spot for him,” Kotwica added. “We’re excited about the guys we have in Elliott and Randy. We’ll see how this takes fold as we move forward to the season.”

Broncos Still Eyeing Kickers

The Broncos may have added kicker Elliott Fry earlier this week, but that won’t stop the team from making more moves at the position. Sean Payton told reporters that the Broncos will still be on the lookout for available kickers (per Chris Tomasson of Denver Gazette on Twitter).

[RELATED: Broncos To Sign K Elliott Fry]

It’s not a huge surprise that the Broncos would continue to be in the market for kickers. The team moved on from veteran Brandon McManus this offseason, and they didn’t have a kicker on their roster until they added Fry this week.

Fry doesn’t have the resume of a kicker who should just be handed the job. The 28-year-old has only seen time in three career games with the Falcons, Bengals, and Chiefs, connecting on five of his field goal attempts and five of his seven extra point tries. He didn’t get into a regular season game in 2022. When Fry auditioned for the Broncos last week, he was joined by fellow free agents Brett Maher and Parker White. That duo remains unsigned.

Assuming the Broncos do bring in someone to compete with Fry, Payton cautioned that a supposed kicking competition still might not have any reflection on the regular-season roster. The head coach pointed to “a kicking battle one year in New Orleans,” when the Saints ended up signing a free agent following final cuts instead of opting for either of the two kickers on their roster.

“Don’t pay attention to the line in front of you or the room you’re in,” Payton said (via Parker Gabriel of The Denver Post). “You’re competing with yourself to put your best product on the field because there’s 31 other teams that might be deeper in a position.”

Broncos To Sign K Elliott Fry

The Broncos jettisoned their nine-year kicker last week, moving on from the final link to their Super Bowl 50 roster. In place of Brandon McManus, the team will bring in a far less experienced option.

Denver is adding Elliott Fry on Wednesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The McManus cut left no kickers on the Broncos’ roster. Fry will step in. The well-traveled kicker has played three NFL games. It is a one-year deal, 9News’ Mike Klis adds (on Twitter).

Fry, 28, took part in a three-kicker workout last week in Denver. He joined Brett Maher and Parker White in auditioning for the team. Of that trio, Maher brings by far the most NFL experience. He also served as the final kicker during Sean Payton‘s Saints tenure, being the team’s most successful Wil Lutz fill-in during the 2021 season. But Maher also endured one of the worst kicking days in playoff history, missing four extra points during the Cowboys’ wild-card win over the Buccaneers. He also missed a PAT the following week in San Francisco.

As for Fry, he has attempted six field goals in his career, making five. He is 5-for-7 on extra points. The former South Carolina kicker played one game apiece with the Falcons, Bengals and Chiefs from 2020-21. He did not kick in a regular-season game last year.

The kicker the Jaguars traded to make room for McManus, Riley Patterson, ended up as the team’s kicker via waiver claim last year. That transaction came shortly after the team booted Fry. The Jags cut Fry with an injury settlement in August 2022, leading to a return to the Chiefs (via a practice squad deal) and a Cardinals reserve/futures contract. Arizona waived Fry in March.

Fry’s workout ledger is extensive. He has regularly made trips to auditions over the past few years, remaining a coveted option when kicking competitions emerge. Initially entering the NFL as a Bears UDFA in 2019 — after a run in the short-lived Alliance of American Football — Fry resided on nine teams’ rosters or P-squads from 2019-23. The Broncos will make it 10 for the nomadic specialist, who likely will not be handed the Denver job. It would be surprising if the Broncos did not add a camp competitor at kicker, but for now, Fry is the team’s McManus replacement choice.

Broncos Work Out Brett Maher, Elliott Fry, Parker White

MAY 24: In addition to Maher, the Broncos brought in two other kickers — Parker White and Elliott Fry — to audition Wednesday, per 9News’ Mike Klis and the Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson (Twitter links). The Packers waived White, a UDFA out of South Carolina, on Monday. A regular on the kicker workout circuit, Fry kicked in three career games (with the Falcons, Chiefs and Bengals) from 2020-21. While a few veteran options — like Robbie Gould, Ryan Succop and Mason Crosby — are available, the Broncos brought in a few less experienced specialists today.

MAY 23: Despite coming off one of the worst kicker performances in playoff history, Brett Maher will receive an audition. The Broncos intend to bring in the two-time Cowboys kicker for a Wednesday workout, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets.

Maher holds the NFL record for most 60-plus-yard field goals, with four, but he is also coming off a woeful 2022 postseason. Maher went 1-for-6 on extra points during the playoffs, missing four to partially stain the Cowboys’ runaway wild-card win over the Buccaneers. While the Cowboys have not shut the door on re-signing him, the veteran specialist remains a free agent.

The Broncos just released their kicker of the past nine seasons, Brandon McManus, designating their longest-tenured player as a post-June 1 cut. Maher, 33, will likely not be the only kicker the team auditions, but he is the first known replacement option to surface. Maher also has experience with Sean Payton, having been one of the Saints’ Wil Lutz replacement options during the 2021 season.

The Saints rolled out four kickers during Lutz’s full-season injury absence two years ago, and Maher enjoyed the longest run of that group. He went 16 of 18 on field goals as a Saint. During the 2022 regular season in Dallas, Maher went 29-for-32, connecting on an impressive 9 of 11 tries from beyond 50 yards. Long-range accuracy has been perhaps Maher’s calling card as a pro, though his January struggles certainly bring concern. Maher missed as many PATs during Dallas’ two postseason games than he had over the past two regular seasons (five).

Denver had enjoyed relative stability at kicker for 30 years, going from Jason Elam (15 seasons) to Matt Prater (six) to McManus (nine) without much of a hiccup. Prater’s 2014 substance-abuse suspension brought about the last change. Now, Payton will go about filling this need in the near future.

Cardinals Sign P Matt Haack, Release K Elliott Fry

The Cardinals appear to have taken another step toward finding Andy Lee‘s successor as the team’s punter. Arizona announced on Monday that they have signed Matt Haack to a one-year contract.

Haack, 28, joins Nolan Cooney in the Cardinals’ offseason competition to find a replacement for Lee. The latter punted in the desert for the past six years, but will be 41 by the start of the 2023 campaign. Lee remains unsigned at this point, and the team’s latest moves point to a willingness to move on from the three-time All-Pro.

Haack is the more experienced of the two punters now on the roster, having played for three different teams across six seasons. He played out his rookie contract with the Dolphins, then had a one-year stint with the Bills in 2021. He lost out during Buffalo’s punting competition last offseason, though, leading to his release despite the presence of two more years on his contract.

Days after being released, the former UDFA found his next opportunity in Indianapolis. Haack set a new career high in punting average in 2022, with a mark of 44.8 yards per punt. His net average of 40.2 was also his highest figure since 2019, though it fell short of what Lee was able to produce last season. Nevertheless, Haack should provide the team with at least a short-term replacement option, with the potential to remain in Arizona for years to come given his age.

The Cardinals also announced that they have released kicker Elliott Fry. The 28-year-old signed a reserve deal with Arizona in January, after spending time with Atlanta, Cincinnati and Kansas City earlier in his career. Fry last played in 2021, and he will now look to find a new opportunity elsewhere. The Cardinals, meanwhile, will move forward with Matt Prater as their kicker; the veteran has been with the team since 2021 and has two years remaining on his contract.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/11/23

Teams continue to sign players to reserve/futures contracts, allowing the organization to retain (routinely) young, practice squad players throughout the offseason. Here are the latest reserve/futures contracts:

Arizona Cardinals

Denver Broncos

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

With K Harrison Butker Ailing, Chiefs Sign Kicker To Practice Squad

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker is dealing with an ankle injury from the team’s season opener. He returned to the game later on, but the injury may be more serious than initially thought as Kansas City opted to add former Jets kicker Matt Ammendola to their practice squad tonight, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. 

Butker slipped on the kickoff following the Kansas City’s opening scoring drive yesterday and limped off the field with a hurt ankle. The Chiefs trotted out safety Justin Reid for the next two extra point attempts, which he split one for two. After Reid’s missed extra point attempt, the Chiefs brought Butker back for field goals and extra points, but kept Reid as the kickoff specialist.

Seeing Butker’s return inspired hope that his injury was not too serious, but today’s signing hints that there might be reason to worry. Ammendola was the winner of what was a kicking contest between several free agents today, according to another tweet from Pelissero. He beat out Elliott Fry, Chase McLaughlin, Cody Parkey, Tristan Vizcaino, and rookie Cameron Dicker.

Ammendola went undrafted two years ago out of Oklahoma State. He eventually spent a few months in the offseason leading up to the 2021 season with the Panthers before signing with the Jets. He made his NFL debut in New York, playing in 11 games. Ammendola was perfect from within 40 yards, going 11 for 11, but struggled from a distance going two for eight on kicks longer than 40 yards, including missing all three kicks from over 50 yards. He was mostly reliable on extra points, though, converting 14 of his 15 attempts. He also served double-duty doing kickoffs and punts for the Jets.

It’s not a foregone conclusion that Ammendola is kicking for the Chiefs this week, but placing him on the practice squad allows the Chiefs to call him up on a day’s notice if Butker is not feeling 100-percent leading up to the team’s Thursday night matchup against the Chargers.