Brett Maher is the Broncos’ lone kicker, but he still has competition

Aug 15, 2023, 5:07 PM

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Brett Maher’s first day as the Broncos’ only placekicker closed wonderfully. But it hit a snag along the way.

He walked off Tuesday by hitting two field-goal attempts of beyond 50 yards — including a 59-yard blast to cap the first-team offense’s drive in the move-the-ball period. At one point during the field-goal period, he missed two of his three attempts from at least 45 yards, including a try that slammed into the left upright.

That came three days after Maher missed one field-goal attempt and had another blocked in the 18-17 loss to Arizona. Elliott Fry, who the Broncos released Tuesday following an injury, went 1-of-2, hitting a 55-yarder.

Now, the resilience is exactly what one wants to see from Maher. But just because he got all the kicks Tuesday doesn’t mean he lacks competition.

“Brett ad a good day today,” Broncos coach Sean Payton said. “He’s competing with himself because he’s got 31 other teams. There are probably seven teams that have a real kicking battle, so he’s competing with those guys that come out of those clubs.

“That doesn’t discount us, possibly, if we wanted to bring in another player.”

That path is how Payton got his best kicker in New Orleans. The Saints added Wil Lutz after the Ravens released him in 2016. Lutz promptly stopped a revolving-door kicker situation with the Saints that existed for much of Payton’s first 10 years as their head coach.

It’s also how the Broncos initially acquired Brandon McManus, who they released in May. They traded for McManus just before the 53-player roster deadline in 2014. He wasn’t going to make the New York Giants’ roster, but the Broncos had room.

So, even with Fry no longer in the mix, the kicking competition continues apace.

“We’ll go day-to-day with where we’re at with the kickers,” Payton said. “I’ve said this to you guys before.”

And surely he’ll say it again if the topic arises.



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Brett Maher is the Broncos’ lone kicker, but he still has competition