Kicker competition may be on the way with Jaguars signing Wil Lutz

• The Jaguars added kicker Wil Lutz in free agency. Here's what you need to know about the move.

Nov 19, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos place kicker Wil Lutz (16) kicks a field goal
Nov 19, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos place kicker Wil Lutz (16) kicks a field goal / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The tampering window of free agency just started and the Jacksonville Jaguars are already operating at full steam. After signing receiver Gabe Davis, center Mitch Morse, and safety Darnell Savage Jr., they've turned their attention to special teams, poaching kicker Wil Lutz from the Denver Broncos.

Update. Mike Klis of 9NEWS reports that Lutz is staying with the Broncos.

Lutz is signing a three-year deal with the Jags, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. The terms of the contract aren't available as of this writing but they'll be provided as soon as they're made public.

Lutz spent six seasons with the New Orleans Saints before joining the Broncos last year. In Denver, he took over kicking duty after Brandon McManus was released. In a non-ironic turn of events, Lutz could once again take McManus' job away. For the Broncos last year, he made 30 of 34 field goals for an 88.2 percent completion rate and 29-of-31 in extra points (93.5 percent).

McManus was part of the Broncos' 2015 Super Bowl team but an underwhelming performance in 2022, and disagreements with the coaching staff, led to his release not long after last year's draft. The Jaguars swooped in and signed him expecting him to bounce back. However, he struggled in the second half of the season, going 10-of-15 in field-goal attempts.

In particular, McManus' missed field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals turned out to be costly. The game went to overtime, where the Jaguars lost. Had he nailed his two attempts, the outcome may have been different.

What does the Jaguars signing of Wil Lutz mean for Brandon McManus?

While the deal is for three years, they could have Wil Lutz compete with Riley Patterson, who's back in Jacksonville after being traded to the Detroit Lions last year to pave the way for Brandon McManus. Patterson was released by the Lions and spent time with the Cleveland Browns before signing a future deal to return to Jacksonville.

It's not a given that the Jaguars will keep Patterson, but it may make sense to carry two kickers in training camp. Back in 2022, they had a revolving door at the position after releasing Matthew Wright. They tried Ryan Santoso, and Andrew Mevis out before claiming James McCourt and later Patterson off waivers. They went with the latter.

Although Patterson had a rough stretch late in the 2022 season, he went 16-of-17 in attempts in the last seven games. Moreover, he kicked the game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers in the playoffs. However, he didn't have the strength for kickoffs, which is why the Jaguars brought in McManus last offseason.

Patterson is now back in Jacksonville, but Lutz may be the favorite to earn the kicking job based on the contract he got. It may be a tad premature to tell how things are going to play out but having two kickers in place before the regular season isn't a bad strategy.

The Jaguars already know what they have in Patterson but if they were fully sold on him, they wouldn't have signed Lutz. Now, they have options at kicker something they didn't have last year and came back to haunt them once McManus struggled.

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