To make room for two-time Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis, the Broncos on Wednesday released kicker Connor Barth, the team announced. Barth took over as the team's starting kicker in the last five weeks of the season last season and made 15 of his 16 field-goal attempts and all 15 PATs. He also made 11 consecutive field goals to begin his tenure with the Broncos and twice tied the team's single-game record for made field goals, going 5-for-5 at Kansas City and at San Diego. But Barth's inability to kickoff doomed him this year, as special teams coach Joe DeCamillis has reiterated that he wants to keep two dual-threat kickers — players who can both kick field goals and kick off, and punt and kick off.
The move means Brandon McManus has taken over the kicking and kicking-off job for the Broncos. Barth was ranked fifth on our kickers list and likely was picked if your draft took place already. Hopefully McManus can slide right into your roster spot if you were a Barth owner.
The Denver Broncos have switched kickers again, waiving first-year pro Brandon McManus and signing Connor Barth, who hasn't kicked in an NFL game since 2012.
Barth, 28, won a competition with 38-year-old Jay Feely at the Broncos complex in suburban Denver on Tuesday.
The Broncos were in the market for a new kicker after McManus clanked a 33-yard field goal off the right upright in Denver's 39-36 win over Miami on Sunday. That came on the heels of a game in St. Louis where they passed up field goal attempts of 54 and 55 yards indoors.
McManus' longest field goal was from 44 yards, and he didn't really get the chance for a pressure kick for the AFC West-leading Broncos.
While solid on kickoffs, McManus was 9 for 13 on field goal attempts. His 69.2 percent conversion rate was dead last among NFL kickers, ranking ahead of only Nate Freese and Alex Henery, both of whom were released by Detroit earlier this season.
Barth, who spent four of his five seasons in Tampa Bay, has plenty of experience in crunch time, although not for a team with quite the Super Bowl aspirations of the Broncos, the story said. Barth has made 84 percent of his career field goal tries. He was the most accurate kicker in Buccaneers history but missed all of last season after tearing the Achilles tendon in his right foot during a charity basketball game. He returned this year but was beaten out by rookie Patrick Murray. The Broncos, of course, kept McManus over Matt Prater who was suspended the first four games of the season and is now with Detroit. Barth has a ton of fantasy potential for those looking to upgrade.
Matt Prater, who is serving the final days of his four-game suspension for violating the league's alcohol program, was notified around 11 a.m. Friday that he would be released.
"I'm a little surprised," Prater said from Florida. "The Broncos look like they're going to do some great things this year. It's too bad I won't be a part of it. I'm just going to concentrate on keeping myself in shape and hopefully I'll be kicking for someone this year."
The Broncos are sticking with Brandon McManus, who in his first three NFL games is 14-of-16 in kickoff touchbacks and three-of-three on field-goal attempts, although his longest is from 24 yards.
McManus has only kicked three field goals through three games, but he should be a quality start on an every week basis given the strength of the Denver offense.