Brandon McManus wanting to join the Jaguars shows how far they've come

Dec 1, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus (8) celebrates after kicking.
Dec 1, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus (8) celebrates after kicking. / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Bad teams have to overspend in free agency to persuade players to sign with them. Conversely, players will always gravitate toward teams with a good chance to win games. For a while the Jacksonville Jaguars were the former but they've joined the latter category after winning the AFC South title and making the playoffs last year. Kicker Brandon McManus calling special teams coordinator Heath Farwell to tell him that he wanted to play with the Jags after being released by the Denver Broncos is proof of that.

Farwell met with the local media before the team's fourth Organized Team Activity of the year and praised former Jaguars kicker Riley Patterson for his contributions to the team last year. He also talked about McManus calling him to let him know that he wanted to play for the Jags.

"Riley did a fantastic job last season for us", Farwell said. "He was a big part of some big games for us, one of the biggest games in Jaguars history. But getting the opportunity to add Brandon, Brandon had reached out to me. So as a guy that wanted to pay here, that gives you the picture of where the culture is gone".

"We have players that are free agents after getting released and say, 'Hey coach, I would love to play here. Just a testament to what coach Pederson has done, what the overall team what it's like to be here, so it's a guy that wanted to be here, and then it was an opportunity to get better as a group", Farwell said.

The Broncos released McManus in a surprise earlier this month. Jacksonville quickly swooped him and signed him but to make room for him, they shipped Patterson to the Detroit Lions.

Patterson finished 2022 strong, going 16-of-17 in the last seven weeks of the season. He also nailed the game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers in Super Wild Card Weekend, so he seemed poised to return in 2023. But then, McManus became available and the Jags decided to make the switch. Here's a clip of Farwell discussing the signing of McManus.

Brandon McManus is an upgrade at kicker for the Jacksonville Jaguars

Moving on from Patterson might not have been a popular decision, as he became a fan favorite after helping the Jaguars win games in 2022. However, McManus is the better kicker and a proven commodity, which is why signing made sense. While Patterson had a better field goal percentage rate last season, five of McManus' eight misses were in attempts of 50 yards and he went 10-of-10 in kicks of 40-49 yards.

Later in his exchange with the media, Farwell proceeded to talk about what McManus brings to the table.

"This is a guy that gives us a lot more flexibility not only on kickoffs to be able to pin them deep and do some different stuff. But it gives us longer a longer kickoff line on Sundays. At times later in the season, some of those lines got shorter with Riley. This won't be an issue and that'll free us up to potentially maybe not go for one when it's a longer distance on fourth down. Maybe that's three points that we can take advantage of, so it gives us a lot more flexibility to add a very good kicker, one of the best kickers in the league to our roster", Farwell said.

Farwell then says that he had never coached McManus before but had met him during pregame interactions. Here's a clip of McManus showing off his leg, via Mia O'Brien of 1010 XL:

The fact that McManus wanted to join the Jacksonville Jaguars as soon as he became a free agent shows that they no longer are seen as the laughing stock of the league and if they keep winning games, more players will want to join them next offseason.

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