What is Brandon McManus worth? Read here before you answer.

One of the biggest questions floating around Dove Valley at this point in the off season is why hasn’t Denver Broncos kicker, Brandon McManus, signed his second-round tender? The Broncos placed the tender on him earlier in the off-season and the tender comes with a base salary of $2,746,000. McManus is a RFA (Restricted Free Agent); the two sides have the following options available:
• He signs the one-year tender and plays 2017 at $2,746,000.
• He signs a multi-year deal based on agreeable length and terms.
• The Broncos rescind the tender making McManus a free agent.(not very likely)
• The other 31 teams can sign McManus to an offer sheet. The Broncos either match it and he remains a Bronco (similar to C.J. Anderson last year), or they pass on matching it, he plays for team x, and the Broncos receive team x’s 2018 2nd round draft pick.
• Two teams could negotiate an agreement sending alternative compensation that the two teams agree on. (also, not very likely)

With that out of the way, it is time to say that the Denver Broncos would not have won Super Bowl 50 without him. He hit all ten of his post season field goal attempts, which included five vs. the Steelers, a pair vs. the Patriots in the AFCCG and he hit three in Super Bowl 50 against the Panthers. During his first three years in the NFL he has earned salaries totaling $1,530,000. His 2nd round tender would be a 179% increase in 2017 for what he’s made over his entire career. He’s likely looking for a multiyear deal and without knowing the guts of the two proposals it is hard to criticize either side at this point. We simply do not know the details and it’s always been said to not count another man’s money, but that happens on a daily basis.

The $2,746,000 tender would rank him eleventh in 2017 for kicker’s when comparing salary cap hits. The chart below shows how he compares to those top 10 kickers based on 2017 cap hits (the results are a bit surprising).

The charts below show his various stats from 2014-2016:


Field Goal Splits:

From within 39-yards he’s essentially as good as anyone, better than a number of the others on the top 10 paid list. From beyond 40, his production drops off. It’s below the NFL average from 2014-2016. That is one of the parts that was extremely surprising. Playing at 5,280 feet adds length to the kickers range, but these numbers do not support it, yet he was 5/5 from 40 plus in the 2015 Super Bowl run. At home, he has hit 80.9% of his total field goals (38/47), while connecting at a 85.7% clip on the road (30/35). Some things are simply hard to explain. 57% of his field goal attempts have come with that magic number of 39 yards or less, while he makes those at a 4% rate higher than the NFL average the 9% drop from the NFL average of kicks over 40 yards might find him replaced in the next few years unless he improves on those numbers.

When it comes to kickoffs, he has had a 68% touchback rate with the NFL average over the same time period being 55%, with roughly half the games at Mile High, those numbers can be slightly inflated and expected.

Again, without knowing what the specifics of either side, it’s hard to criticize, but the 2nd tender is very fair, and it is likely that he is simply looking for a 3-4-year deal. Everyone likes security. Worst case scenario he signs the tender and plays out 2017, then the dance starts again. Best case scenario is that the two sides come to an agreement. McManus will be 26 years old when the season starts and for a kicker he’s barely breaking the surface. When future Hall-of-fame kicker Adam Vinatieri was 26 years old, the Denver Broncos were winning the second of two Super Bowl Championships in 1998. Obviously, Vinatieri isn’t the norm, but McManus is still very young in terms of kickers.

The salary cap information was gathered from:
https://overthecap.com/position/kicker/2017/

The majority of the kicker’s statistical information was gathered from:
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/

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