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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – The Denver Broncos spent four of their last five offseasons working out long-term deals with players they had franchised: Von Miller, Demaryius Thomas, Ryan Clady and Matt Prater.
There aren’t any looming hefty deals bogging down the front office this year, but there is a simmering contract dispute: kicker Brandon McManus hasn’t signed his $2.7 million tender in the hopes that agent Drew Rosenhaus can get him a long-term deal.
“There is really no rush for me to sign the tender,” said McManus, who has until June 15 to sign it.
Kicker Brandon McManus #8 of the Denver Broncos kicks a field goal in the first quarter of the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 18, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
There really isn’t a rush for general manager John Elway to sign McManus long-term, either.
Elway’s track record the last two offseasons included pay cuts for superstars Peyton Manning and DeMarcus Ware, and he has waited until after Christmas to sign star cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and Derek Wolfe in recent seasons.
Asked after the draft about McManus not putting his signature on his tender, Elway pointed to his office and said, “That’s all right. It’s up there. So, when he wants to come sign it, he can come sign it.”
McManus, who made $600,000 last season, would prefer to sign a deal that keeps him in Denver through 2020.
Kicker Brandon McManus #8 of the Denver Broncos makes a field goal in overtime of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 27, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
“I would love to be here as long as I can and be on a long-term deal here that gives me some security,” McManus said this week in his first public comments about his contract situation. “I love Denver and I love the fan base here. I would love to be here for four years, so why not see what I can do?”
The Broncos used second-round tenders for both McManus and inside linebacker Todd Davis in March. Davis signed his tender. Without long-term deals, both could become unrestricted free agents in 2018.
McManus has made 85.5 percent of his field goal tries the last two seasons. He was a perfect 10 for 10 during the Broncos’ Super Bowl run two seasons ago but his 2016 season was marred by a crucial miss in an overtime loss to Kansas City that would ultimately keep Denver out of the playoffs.
Brandon McManus #8 of the Denver Broncos makes a 30-yard field goal during the third quarter of Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
While McManus awaits movement on a new contract, he’s been attending the Broncos’ offseason program, including the OTAs that began this week.
“I just would love to be here a lot longer,” McManus said. “I’ve been here every day throughout the whole offseason program. That’s not part of me to hold out in that aspect and not show up. I want the guys to see me. I’m looking forward to hopefully being maybe a captain for special teams this year.”
Special teams coach Brock Olivo said he could see that happening this year.
“I’ll say this about Brandon: I think he has a pretty good presence in the locker room, whereas a lot of kickers don’t. They can be sort of loners to so speak. They’re specialists and so they’re kind of a group apart. But I don’t think Brandon is seen that way in our locker room,” Olivo said. “That’s just my gut feeling right now from what I’ve seen. So, the idea of him being a captain, I love that about him. I love that he aspires to be that leader.
Brandon McManus #8 of the Denver Broncos kicks a 51 yard field goal as Britton Colquitt #4 holds against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the end of the first half during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 17, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
“And I love the fact that he’s here on a daily basis, he’s grinding. I think guys respect that about him. He’s got a good personality. He’s a very gregarious, outgoing guy. Guys like him. And he’s got confidence. That’s swag, right? And people like that.”
McManus said he feels he’s established himself over the last two seasons, so “hopefully I can get that honor this year.”
Along with a big contract.
– By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Sports Writer
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