The Broncos released surprise kicker Brandon McManus earlier this week. It probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
“At the end of the day, you’re constantly looking at what’s best for your team,” head coach Sean Payton told reporters. “It takes a lot of time, money and what you ‘should’ be. You know this better than anyone, the transactions will continue here from now until the training camp. There may be a player of two we still want to sign. We considered that a lot and then we made that decision.
By releasing McManus, the Broncos avoided $3,650,000 in salary and created the same amount of capspace.
In addition to salary, there is another element that may have influenced the decision. Payton is a student of Bill Parcells, and Parcells generally liked his kickers and punters to be seen and not heard.
McManus boycotted OTAs last year, and then he showed up for the final sessions to explain why he didn’t show up. The previous year, McManus was one of the public voices speaking out against OTAs, at a time when the union was trying to get more and more players to withhold shifts during voluntary drills.
Regardless of Payton-Parcells’ angle, the union activity probably didn’t sit well with the new owner given Wal-Mart’s very strong and successful efforts to prevent unionization. (Google what happened after a small group of meat cutters in Jacksonville, Texas, became the first employees in company history to vote for a union.)
So while McManus has something to add (as evidenced by Jacksonville’s decision to quickly pounce on him), his Denver release may be sending a not-so-subtle message to the locker room. And especially for the players who are easy to replace.
Sean Payton explains that the decision to release Brandon McManus originally appeared on Pro Football Talk