BRONCOS

Denver Broncos linked to veteran kicker with Sean Payton ties

Aug 21, 2023, 1:30 PM

Brett Maher didn’t lose the Denver Broncos kicker job on Saturday night, but he certainly hasn’t won it yet either.

The 34-year-old had a bounce back Week 2 of the preseason after missing two field goals in Week 1. Maher ended his career with the Cowboys by missing four extra points in a playoff game last season. While Maher is the lone kicker on the Broncos roster right now as the team tries to use somebody other than Brandon McManus at the position for the first time since 2013, Denver has its eyes elsewhere.

“(Saints) GM Mickey Loomis may be able to trade the loser of Wil Lutz/Blake Grupe (battle) for a sixth-round pick just before roster cutdown,” wrote Peter King on Monday. “Wouldn’t be surprised to see Sean Payton show interest in Lutz in Denver.”

Lutz, 29, has spent seven seasons with the Saints but had a down season in 2022 after missing all of 2021 with a core injury. The former Payton player has appeared in seven playoff games, going a perfect 18-for-18 on extra points and nailing 11-of-his-15 field goals including four makes against the Rams in the 2018 NFC title game before Greg Zuerlein out-did him with one at the buzzer and then agin in overtime.

Lutz hit his career-long of 60 last season but had a career-worst 74.2% make rate. The 2019 Pro Bowler went to Georgia State and is batting it out with undrafted Notre Dame kicker Blake Grupe.

McManus hit 77.8% of his kicks last year with a long of 55 yards but was 92% to Lutz’s 100% on extra points. McManus who has career lower numbers than Lutz is now with the Jaguars, meanwhile Maher made 91% of his field goals last year including one from 61 yards out but his extra point make rate was down at 94% and that doesn’t include his playoff blunders.

If the Lutz move happens, it will be far from the first former Saint Payton has brought along with him to Denver.

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