DENVER — For nine seasons, Brandon McManus shaped a memorable career in Denver. He arrived as a longshot, got cut, then fashioned himself into a champion and team captain.
Tuesday, the last connection to the Super Bowl 50 team was severed as the Broncos cut the popular veteran.
McManus broke the news on Twitter.
The @Broncos have informed me I’ve been released. More to come in the following days— Brandon McManus (@thekidmcmanus) May 23, 2023
"The Broncos have informed me I’ve been released. More to come in the following days," McManus said, who did not respond to immediate texts from Denver7.
There was some chatter that this might be his last season after the Broncos' latest cascade of failures, though his contract offered some protection. McManus was rarely the culprit in the losses, but he did not produce his typical results in 2022. He converted 28 of 36 field goals, a 77.8 percent rate, is his lowest since 2017. He also converted 8 of 13 kicks of 50-yards plus.
“Brandon has been a key player and presence with the Broncos for nearly a decade, making outstanding contributions to our team and community. Developing into one of the NFL’s most productive kickers, Brandon made so many clutch kicks for this franchise over the years as a Super Bowl champion and team captain," Broncos general manager George Paton said in a statement.
"He will always hold a special place in Denver Broncos history. We thank Brandon for all he did for the Broncos, and we wish him and his great family the very best in the future.”
New coach Sean Payton has not hidden his disgust with how bad he believes the Broncos were on special teams last season. Earlier this off-season, Denver cut punter Corliss Waitman, signing Riley Dixon. Now, McManus is gone.
The 31-year-old was due to make $3.75 million this season, money they will save in 2023. Designated as a post-June 1 release the Broncos will absorb dead cap hits of $1.23 million in 2023 and 2024.
The Broncos do not have a kicker on their roster. They will look to find one, likely at a lower salary.
According to KPRC2 TV, the Broncos will work out Brett Maher on Wednesday. Maher made 29 of 32 field goals for Cowboys last year. But had the yips in the playoffs. He went 1-for-6 on extra points. But did make his two field goals vs. 49ers.
Maher also converted 16 of 18 attempts in eight games for Payton's 2021 Saints team.
Tuesday's roster move doesn't diminish McManus' impact on the Broncos.
In their Super Bowl 50 season, he made 30 of 35 field goals, including five of 50-yards plus. He became defined by his clutch moments. At the Broncos' White House Visit following their world title, President Obama deadpanned, "We can't forget the heart and soul of this team's offensive firepower, kicker Brandon McManus."
McManus became a popular teammate and was best friends with Von Miller, whose tenure with the Broncos ended with a trade during the 2021 season. McManus has made 81.4 percent of his career kicks, was known for his booming kickoffs and exits as the franchise’s second-leading scorer all-time (946 points).
A terrific athlete and golfer, McManus was the Broncos player rep for the union. His tweet suggests he still has plenty of kicks left in his right leg.