Brandon McManus has come a long way since he entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent back in 2013. He initially signed with the Indianapolis Colts, but failed to make their final roster. Moving on from the house that Peyton built, McManus tried his luck with the other Manning brother’s team, joining the New York Giants for the 2014 preseason. He lost out there as well, but ended up landing with the Denver Broncos when New York traded him away to replace the then-suspended Matt Prater.
But McManus kicked for Denver for only a few weeks before being replaced by Connor Barth. Fortunately, Barth’s weaker leg meant that Denver brought McManus back off of waivers to be the kickoff specialist.
It came down to a competition in the team’s 2015 training camp, and on his 3rd try McManus won out. Solidifying his status as the team’s kicker, he played a vital role in keeping the team in games as the offense sputtered behind an injured and aging Peyton Manning. In the end, he set a franchise record of 10 field goals in a single postseason on the way to the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 glory.
Since then the gears of the NFL machine have continued to turn with all their inevitability, and one by one the veterans of Super Bowl 50 have moved on or retired. So when GM George Paton traded legendary Bronco Von Miller to the future Super Bowl LVI champion Rams, McManus became the last champion standing.
Now entering his 10th NFL season and his 9th in Denver, the one player to endure every single miserable moment of the Broncos’ 6 year playoff drought is doubtless looking forward to stretching his leg in the postseason for the first time since that awesome February night of golden confetti.
#8 Brandon McManus
Weight: 201 lbs
Experience: 10th year
How McManus fits with the Broncos in 2022
McManus’s 2022 status isn’t in any notable doubt. He is, and almost certainly will be, Denver’s placekicker yet again. Where punter Sam Martin has a challenger to face down in Corliss Waitman, the Broncos haven’t brought in any competition for their longtime kicker. As it turns out, it’s really hard to lose a competition with no one.
That’s really all there is to it. McManus’s roster spot is one of the most secure on the team. While the Broncos may bring in a camp leg at some point to help out with the upcoming kick return competition, the chances of that guy presenting any real threat to McManus are pretty low.
With his current contract running through 2024, and his cap hit currently sitting at 12th among active kickers, the only thing that presents much of a threat to McManus would be if his performance slumps significantly. Barring that or a season-ending injury, odds are good that he’ll be just as secure in his spot a year from now as he is today.
While it remains to be seen just how good the Broncos will be this fall, I’m sure I’m not the only one who would be jazzed if McManus ends up being the first Bronco to win multiple Super Bowls with two different starting QBs.