The Denver Broncos fixed a huge wrong on their books this week, with the move to cut punter Britton Colquitt's salary nearly in half. Before the agreement to restructure, Colquitt was set to be the ninth highest-paid player on the roster, after he is the 11th highest paid, not counting injured tackle Ryan Clady.
More Broncos Camp Stories
The move would suggest that the gap between Colquitt and YouTube sensation Karl Schmitz is wide and as it currently stands, that sentiment is correct, but Denver will give Schmitz every opportunity to prove himself when it matters. Colquitt will still count $2.35 million against the cap this season, if the team were to cut him at anytime before the season, they would save another $1.5 million.
The other side of this equation is the kicking battle. Connor Barth has looked polished at the onset of camp, while Brandon McManus has been improving as camp goes on. This battle plays a role because Colquitt does not handle kickoffs, while Barth struggles mightily on kickoffs, even at altitude.
The general impression coming out of Dove Valley is that the team wants McManus to win the job, due to his youth, powerful leg and kickoff ability. McManus won't just be handed the job, he'll have to show that he can hit his kicks with more consistency, an issue that lost him his job in the first place.
On the other end, Schmitz is still in the running for the punting job, having the added benefit of a strong leg and the ability to kick off. If Schmitz is able to wrestle the punting job from Colquitt, the team would feel better about having the more consistent Barth as their kicker for the upcoming season.
In years past, the Broncos have been set at the kicker and punter positions, with little competition during camp. This year's training camp will be different, as kicking drama has made it's way to Dove Valley.