BRONCOS

Report: Broncos will look to bring back Lutz but won’t make it easy

Feb 26, 2024, 10:56 AM

The Denver Broncos hope to not have to make a change at kicker for the second straight season this fall. According to the Denver Gazette, the Broncos and kicker Wil Lutz have a mutual interest in running it back come 2024.

The former Pro Bowl placekicker was with Denver head coach Sean Payton in New Orleans and was traded to the Broncos for a late draft pick ahead of the 2023 season after losing his gig with the Saints. Lutz was decent in Denver but nothing like his former All-Pro nods. He made 30 of his 34 field goals with the Broncos and was 29-of-31 on extra points in his first season at a Mile High. The team went with Lutz after moving on from longtime kicker Brandon McManus, who ended up in Jacksonville.

Where Lutz’s shortcomings became obvious even at altitude was on semi-long kicks, he only took 10 from over 40 yards and made eight of them. Since 2020, Lutz is 23-of-36 on 40-plus yarders, which is just 63.88%. Comparing those numbers to some of the best in the game shows why Lutz shouldn’t be earning what elite kickers do. Justin Tucker has gone 56-of-71 from the same distance over the same period, Harrison Butker 37-of-47, Cairos Santos 47-of-58 and Jason Myers 47-of-59.

The Broncos could do the easy thing and tag Lutz to keep him, but that number would come in at $5.4 million while the team is already expected to be tight on cap space. The Gazette reported on Monday that the Broncos won’t be tagging Lutz.

Between being already over the newly projected cap even with more space than expected, and the likely cut of Russell Wilson—Denver needs to save. So they’ll barter with Lutz to bring him back, and George Paton’s crew will have the upper hand in negations with the 29-year-old special teamer.

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Report: Broncos will look to bring back Lutz but won’t make it easy