Signing K Brandon McManus shows Jacksonville Jaguars commitment to winning in 2023
Kicker Riley Patterson played a huge role in the Jacksonville Jaguars' win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Super Wild Card Weekend, making the game winning field goal with three second left on the clock. You would that was enough to lock down a roster spot in 2023 but it wasn't. The Jags just released him and signed Brandon McManus to take over kicking duties.
Jacksonville announced they've moved on from Patterson to make room for McManus, who spent the last nine seasons with the Denver Broncos. In that span, he's been one of the most accurate kickers in the league, having an attempt success of 80 percent of more in three seasons. Moreover, he nailed eight field goals of 50 yards or more in 2022, so it's easy to see why the Jags wasted no time to sign him.
On the other hand, Patterson should have no trouble finding a team. He joined the Jaguars last year after Austin Seibert beat him for the Detriot Lions' kicking job. Although Patterson went through a rough stretch at the midpoint of the 2022 season, the coaching staff's confidence in him didn't waver. Their trust paid off as he went 16-of-17 in the last seven games.
In case you want to relive the Jaguars' win over the Bolts in the playoffs, here's Patterson nailing the game winner:
Brandon McManus is an upgrade at kicker of the Jacksonville Jaguars
Patterson didn't seem to be on shaky ground ahead of the 2023 season but the Jaguars didn't probably expect McManus to be available at this point of the offseason, so they jumped at the opportunity to sign him.
All things considered, it's a bit odd that the Broncos chose to release McManus now and not earlier this year. Moving on from him or before free agency would still have left the same amount in dead money ($2.462 million) but Sayre Bedinger of Predominantly Orange hypothesizes that head coach Sean Payton may have wanted to send a message.
Regardless of the reason, the Jaguars' brass thinks McManus can be an upgrade at kicker. Kicking someone who became a fan favorite at the end of the season is a tough decision and one of that could be percieved negatively but Jacksonville wants to win and good teams are always looking for ways to improve.
The Jags could have easily stuck with Paterson in 2023 but they're getting a savvy veteran that can consistently make field goals of over 50 yards in McManus. On top of that, he was a member of the Denver team that won Super Bowl 50, giving Jacksonville a kicker that has delivered on the big stage.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will make decision that they think will put them in a better position to win games. Signing McManus could pay off or maybe not but if they're showing they're not resting on their laurels and are doing what they can to return to the playoffs and get over the hump next season.