According to NFL Network’s lead analyst Ian Rapoport, the Denver Broncos have traded for New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz. 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis is also reporting that the team has released kicker Brett Maher after completing this trade. Klis is reporting that the Broncos traded a 7th-round pick to acquire Lutz from the Saints.
According to reports, the Broncos were not the only team after Lutz, the Rams, 49ers, Titans and Cowboys were interested in acquiring the veteran kicker.
It was reported earlier in the day that the Broncos were in the market for a kicker, and it appears these reports were accurate. Now, Payton reunites with his longtime kicker with the Saints and hopefully, solves the Broncos' recent revolving door at the position after they parted ways with Brandon McManus this offseason.
Will Lutz is a 29-year-old kicker who has kicked for the New Orleans Saints since 2016 and spent all but one of those seasons with now Broncos head coach, Sean Payton. During his career, Lutz has made 84.6% of his field goal attempts and has a career-long kick of 60 yards. As for extra points, Lutz has attempted 293 extra points during his career and has made 286 of his extra point attempts. That means he has only missed seven career extra points but has only missed three of those attempts since 2018. So, he has been a very consistent and reliable kicker throughout his career.
However, he is coming off a career worse year when it comes to field goal percentage. Last season, Lutz made 74.2% of his kicks which was a career low for him, and his first season below 80% in field goal percentage. He was coming off a 2021 season where he missed the entire season due to an abdomen injury that resulted in a core-muscle surgery and ended up costing him the entire 2021 season.
Lutz was in a kicking competition with undrafted rookie Blake Grupe this preseason and obviously, the Saints went with the rookie instead. Lutz went 4 for 4 during the preseason and made all his extra points so he was not kicking poorly this year.
At the end of the day, Payton got himself a kicker he can trust and a kicker who during his career has been one of the better ones in the league. So, hopefully, he can continue this success with the Broncos moving forward.