Broncos Trade for All-Pro Specialist With Ties to Sean Payton

Wil Lutz

Getty Former New Orleans K Wil Lutz celebrates with his teammates after making a field goal.

The Denver Broncos are wheeling and dealing as they continue to put together their 53-man roster for the 2023 season.

On August 29, the Broncos made a trade with the New Orleans Saints, sending veteran kicker Wil Lutz to Denver, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Per Mike Klis of 9News, the Saints will receive a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft in exchange for Lutz.

During training camp, the Broncos had a battle going on between veteran kicker Brett Maher and Elliot Fry.

After the first preseason game of the season, the Broncos decided to move on from Fry after he suffered a lower body injury that wasn’t considered serious. Denver didn’t bring in another kicker to compete with Maher, but that didn’t seem to matter on the final days of shortening the roster for the regular season.

Since the Broncos acquired Lutz, they went ahead and released Maher; who will have some options moving forward since there have been so many kickers being moved after the final preseason game.

Lutz’s Career in the NFL

After going undrafted in 2016, Lutz signed with the Baltimore Ravens in May, but was waived just three months later.

In September of 2016, the New Orleans Saints signed Lutz and there was no looking back. Lutz has spent the past seven seasons with the Saints and has kicked well for them, earning a Pro Bowl nod in 2019.

In 2021 Lutz was placed on injured reserve after suffering a core muscle injury forcing him to have season-ending surgery.

During his six playing seasons, Lutz has made 84.6 percent of his field goals and 97.6 percent of his extra points. Over the past four seasons, the former Georgia St. Panther has missed a combined three extra points and hasn’t missed multiple in a season since 2017 when he missed three.

In his career, Lutz has only attempted 29 field goals from at least 50 yards or more. Over the last three seasons with Denver, Broncos kicker Brandon McManus attempted 37 because of how bad the Broncos’ offense has been getting into the red zone.

Lutz’s field goal percentage has gone down each year after making a career-best 93.3 percent of his field goals in 2018. Last year, Lutz had a worse field goal percentage (74.2%) than McManus (77.8%).

In the three preseason games this season, Lutz was perfect making all four of his field goal attempts and all three of his extra points.

Payton Was Interested in Lutz All Along

Broncos head coach Sean Payton has made it known that he likes to bring in his own guys and players that he’s familiar with, during his first season as the head coach of the Broncos.

During his tenure in New Orleans, Payton had brought in Lutz in 2016 and has been a fan of him ever since. So much of a fan that when the team released McManus, Lutz was on their short list despite bringing in two kickers before him.

“At the beginning of the whole process he was a target for us. We knew they [Saints] had two players, meanwhile our guy [Maher] was doing well. I was there through the whole beginning with Wil [Lutz] and then he went through a core muscle injury much like Riley [Dixon] is going through right now.” Payton continued, “Obviously his numbers dropped off a little bit. He had a really good training camp for them [Saints]. We’ve seen all of his kicks and got some really good information on how his practices went.”

“Look, this is a place where kickers want to be with the altitude and the conditions.”

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments