Last week, the Detroit Lions signed All-XFL kicker John Parker Romo, whom I believe to be more than just a camp leg and legitimate competition for incumbent Lions kicker Michael Badgley. I asked you guys who you thought would be the Lions’ starting kicker in 2023, and the crowd narrowly swayed towards Romo.
When creating the poll, I didn’t add a third option for “other” because, as I mentioned in that article, “At this point in the offseason, it’s usually slim pickings as far as upgrading any position, let alone kicker.” Surely there was no way another kicker could come along and pose a real threat to these two.
Well, slap me silly and call me a horseshoe because our good friends at Mile High may just be setting up the Lions for a continuation of their reign of elite kickers. For those of you who may have forgotten, Matt Prater had a long and illustrious career as one of the league’s best kickers prior to coming to Detroit. The Denver Broncos parted ways with Prater due to personal issues he had to deal with, and after some time away from the game, the Lions signed him in October of 2014. It was a perfect fit and both sides didn’t look back. He would go on to become another name firmly entrenched in Detroit’s rich kicking history.
It seems history is repeating itself, with the Broncos parting ways with McManus after he struggled in 2022. McManus spent nine seasons with the Broncos, converting over 81% of his field goals, but this past season was his worst since 2017 at a 78% clip.
McManus, relative the Lions’ options, has a proven cannon for a leg, with 40 career field goals from beyond 50 yards. He’s still going strong, too, with 23 of those coming in the last three seasons. The Broncos’ offensive struggles in recent years have skewed his overall percentages downwards, as nine of McManus’ 13 missed kicks in the last two seasons came from beyond 50 yards.
Question of the day: Should the Lions pursue Brandon McManus?
My answer: duh.
You guys know I love the Money Badger, but this is like taking candy from a child. It’s unclear why the Broncos are moving on from McManus aside from the fact that they’re hard-pressing the restart button this offseason. He’s still in his prime, reliable, and an absolute unit. When you have the ability to upgrade your roster with a player like this, you take it.
For reference, the Lions signed Matt Prater at age 30. McManus is 31 and will be 32 by the time the season starts. Now, I don’t want to dig myself too deep into this hole and set unrealistic expectations should McManus land in Detroit, but imagine having the opportunity to upgrade the kicker position to Matt Prater circa 2016-17. That man was a force to be reckoned with; a kicker who made us assume anything inside of 55 yards was automatic. You’d take it in a heartbeat, and so would I.
Here’s to hoping Brad Holmes would too. You want to be a villain, Brad? Now’s your chance.
Should the Lions pursue Brandon McManus?
This poll is closed
No, I don’t like seeing my team make field goals.