The kicker market around the NFL is hot right now, and we saw another kicker trade go down just hours before the 53-man roster deadline. Per NFL Media, the New Orleans Saints are trading longtime kicker Wil Lutz to the Denver Broncos. 9News reports that Denver is sending New Orleans a 2024 seventh-round pick as part of the deal.
This means that rookie Blake Grupe, who kicked a game-winning field goal against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1 of the preseason, has won the job in New Orleans. Lutz was not bad in the preseason for the Saints, as he converted on all four of his field goal attempts, and all three of his extra point attempts. The Athletic reported on Tuesday morning that the Broncos were one of several teams making calls for kickers. Brett Maher kicked for the Broncos this preseason, but he will now be released or traded while head coach Sean Payton turns to an old friend.
Lutz kicked for the Saints for six seasons, and made 84.6% of his field goal attempts and 97.6% of his extra point attempts in 97 career games played. Recently, he suffered a core muscle injury before the start of the 2021 regular season that knocked him out for the year. Lutz then returned to the lineup in 2022 and converted on a career-low 74.2% of his field goals, but 100% of his extra point attempts for the first time in his career.
The 29-year-old found his way to New Orleans as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia State in 2016 after a short stint with the Baltimore Ravens. He made the Pro Bowl in 2019 after missing just four of 36 field goal attempts and one of 49 extra point attempts.