ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus, the last remaining player from the team’s Super Bowl 50 champion squad, was released by the team Tuesday.
McManus announced the move on social media, which was followed a short time later by the team’s official announcement.
Several players told ESPN on Tuesday morning as they were preparing for the team’s first OTA practice that they had reached out to McManus, who said in a Twitter post that there would be “more to come in the following days.”
“Brandon has been a key player and presence with the Broncos for nearly a decade, making outstanding contributions to our team and community,” Broncos general manager George Paton said in a statement. “Developing into one of the NFL’s most productive kickers, Brandon made so many clutch kicks for this franchise over the years as a Super Bowl champion and team captain. He will always hold a special place in Denver Broncos history. We thank Brandon for all he did for the Broncos, and we wish him and his great family the very best in the future.”
After years of turnover throughout the roster and on the coaching staff since the organization’s third Super Bowl win to close out the 2015 season, 31-year-old McManus — he will turn 32 in late July — was the only player left on the roster who played on that team.
That playoff run might have also been the height of McManus’ time with the Broncos as he went 10-of-10 in field goal attempts over the three postseason games, including 5-of-5 in attempts of 40 or more yards. He was 3-of-3 in field goal attempts in the Broncos’ 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
Since that title game win, the Broncos have not made the playoffs over the past seven years, and Sean Payton was hired earlier this year as the fourth head coach since Gary Kubiak stepped down after the 2016 season. Linebacker Von Miller, one of McManus’ closest friends and godfather to one of McManus’ children, and McManus were the only players left from the Super Bowl team when Miller was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in the 2021 season.
We’ve released K Brandon McManus.
A #SB50 champion, team captain and the second-leading scorer in Broncos history.
Thank you for everything you gave #BroncosCountry, @thekidmcmanus. 🧡
📰 » https://t.co/6xGdwQGpW6 pic.twitter.com/fvT7bnx9Bb
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) May 23, 2023
McManus was 28-of-36 (77.8%) in field goal attempts last season, his first year since 2017 that he made under 80% of his field goal attempts. He was not alone in having some struggles, as the Broncos finished the year as the league’s lowest-scoring offense.
McManus had two years remaining on a four-year extension he signed in 2020 and was scheduled to count $4.98 million against the salary cap. McManus is an NFL Players Association vice president and a member of the organization’s executive board.
His Project McManus Foundation has been active in the Denver community in his time with the team.
The Broncos acquired McManus in a trade with the New York Giants in 2014 when Matt Prater was suspended for four games to start that season. Prater was released later that year, and McManus had been the Broncos’ kicker since. He is the franchise’s second-leading scorer behind fellow kicker Jason Elam.