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Wil Lutz’s stay with the Denver Broncos ends sooner than expected

So much for that: former New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz is ending his run with the Denver Broncos sooner than fans may have thought. He’s expected to sign a three-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars when the new league year opens on March 13, again splitting ways with his longtime coach Sean Payton.

Lutz connected on 30 of his 34 field goals (88.2%) for Denver after being traded away from the Saints, once Payton’s successor Dennis Allen determined that rookie kicker Blake Grupe was a better option. Lutz’s longest successful field goal traveled 52 yards while he missed from longer distances of 57 and 55 yards; his average try was 34.97 yards.

Compare that to Grupe, who hit 30 of his 37 attempts (81.1%) in New Orleans from an average distance of 39.16 yards. Grupe’s longest make traveled 55 yards, but he went 1-for-2 on kicks from 54 yards. Grupe also hit all 40 of his extra point tries while Lutz missed twice on 31 attempts.

So what did the Broncos give up for 17 games with Lutz? A seventh-round pick in the 2024 draft, falling at No. 239 overall. Depending on how active they are in free agency Denver could get a compensatory pick back in 2025, but Payton has bigger problems to worry about after kicking off an extensive rebuild — which Lutz won’t be a part of.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire