To accommodate their signing of free agent guard Evan Mathis, the Broncos have created a spot on their roster by releasing Connor Barth, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. The move indicates that Brandon McManus has won Denver’s kicking job.
Barth, 29, was signed by the Broncos last November to replace McManus, who was struggling with his accuracy. The former Buccaneers kicker finished the season by making 15 of 16 field goals for Denver, but was beat out in camp this year by McManus. The 24-year-old has the bigger leg of the two players, and can handle kickoffs better, but made just nine of 13 field goal attempts in his rookie year in 2014.
While the move is bad news for Barth in the short term, he immediately becomes one of the most talented kickers on the free agent market. If another team has its kicker go down with an injury or perform poorly in the early going, Barth figures to be one of the first potential replacements to get a call.