With Matt Prater to miss the first four games of the season due to a suspension, the Denver Broncos had a question mark when it came to the kicker position. Now, it appears that they have found their answer.
On Tuesday, the Broncos acquired kicker Brandon McManus from the New York Giants in exchange for a conditional seventh round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. McManus was beat out by veteran incumbent Josh Brown for the Giants’ kicking job.
The 23-year-old McManus impressed this preseason, hitting field goals from 46 and 47 yards. His big was also apparent on kickoffs, where he sent 10 of 11 for touchbacks. According to the New York Times, he also hit from 75 yards in practice.
The move is very much of the low-risk, high-potential reward variety. The Giants will only receive the seventh round pick if McManus remains on the Broncos’ roster following the return of Prater.
Undrafted out of Temple, McManus spent last preseason with the Indianapolis Colts; who cut him in late August. Serving as both a kicker and a punter at Temple, he holds the school’s career records in points scored (338), field goals made (60) and punting average (45.4). He was the recipient of the 2012 College Football Performance Awards Specialist Trophy as the nation’s top kicker.
In a corresponding roster move, the Broncos waived kicker Mitch Ewald on Tuesday. Signed on July 23 after going undrafted out of Indiana, Ewald struggled this preseason, culminating with a missed 36-yarder in Saturday’s preseason loss to the Houston Texans.