Broncos ink their most accurate kicker of all time to an extension

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After Denver’s Super Bowl win in early 2016, President Barack Obama called Brandon McManus the “heart and soul of this team’s offensive firepower.” While they are hoping that is far from the case in 2017, the team is surely glad that McManus should be in Denver for the foreseeable future.

The Broncos signed McManus to a three-year extension that will expire after the 2020 season, Monday afternoon. According to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post, the contract is worth just over $11 million. McManus was a restricted free agent this offseason and signed his one-year $2.75 million tender in June.

The Broncos have a history of taking care of expiring contracts during this time of the year. Last season, John Elway signed wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to a $33 million extension the day before Denver opened the season against the Panthers.

McManus was the highest scoring player in the NFL this preseason, converting all ten of his field goal attempts and every extra point attempt. The 26-year-old holds the Broncos record for best career field goal percentage (82.9%) among all kickers with at least 20 attempts. He is followed closely by Matt Prater (82.9%) and Jason Elam (80.6%). McManus has only missed one field goal under forty yards in his career.

At one training camp practice this summer, McManus put together an otherworldly sequence. While the rest of the team was practicing 11-on-11 drills, McManus, snapper Casey Kreiter and holder Riley Dixon worked on long field goals. McManus hit five straight from 55 yards, then made a 60-yarder and two 65-yarders, missed for the first time from 70 yards out, and finished by making his second attempt from 73. Then, the team moved to full-speed special teams drills, and McManus made his only attempt, a 73-yarder.

While Denver’s altitude certainly aided McManus’ effort, his leg strength is undeniable. After Friday’s practice, he said he could make a 75-yard field goal in a game. The current NFL record for longest in-game field goal is 64 yards, set by Prater in a 2013 game in Denver against the Titans.

"It'll be pretty warm [Monday night]," McManus said, "but I could always kick anything in the 70s, I think. Seventy-five is still the farthest kick I've ever hit, so I don't think I could go over that."

McManus was not selected in the 2013 NFL Draft, despite setting school records in points, field goal attempts, field goals converted and punting average, during a four-year career at Temple. He was first-team All-Big East as a senior.

McManus began his career in Indianapolis as an undrafted free agent before being released prior to his first NFL season. He spent his entire rookie year as a free agent before signing with the Giants the following offseason. The Broncos traded for McManus following the preseason, after then-starter Prater was suspended for violating the league’s substance policy.

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