Colorado Bro Nick Kasa Signs With Super Bowl-Bound Denver Broncos

During the AFC Championship game a couple of weeks ago between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, the Denver front office was working on some roster moves behind the scenes in preparation for the Super Bowl.

And, while sitting in the stands at Sports Authority Field cheering on the Broncos as they defeated the Patriots 20-18, free agent tight end Nick Kasa got the call every player in his position wants to receive—and it was the Broncos on the other end.

But Kasa hasn’t played since Spring since being cut by the Oakland Raiders, so it’s not exactly surprising that he dropped his cell phone during the call and cracked the screen. When he got his phone back in business the next day, he was greeted to news that the Broncos wanted to offer him a spot on the team’s practice squad as it prepares to play the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 this Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

As anyone would imagine, the past few weeks has been a whirlwind for Kasa.

“It’s been pretty crazy… Kind of indescribable,” said Kasa, who is replacing tight end Dan Light, whom the team released last Monday. “These guys have been working hard toward this for a long time. For me to come in at the end here, is just kind of an out-of-the-ordinary event. I’m honored to be here, and ready to do whatever I can to help.”

After playing collegiately for the Colorado Buffaloes, Kasa was drafted in 2013 by the Raiders in the 6th round, appearing in all 16 games as a rookie. But in the 2014 season, he was placed on season-ending injured reserve after tearing his ACL, and was released by the Raiders this past Spring. In some gutsy moves that were probably not advised by trainers or his agent, Kasa actually turned down a few opportunities with other teams during the regular season in hopes of landing somewhere in the offseason—and his risks paid-off—with the newly signed tight end saying of his Broncos opportunity, “It’s a freaking dream come true, for sure.”

Kasa’s role with Denver this week will be to mimic the style of Panthers’ Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen. And while this role is complex, it’s a perfect time for Kasa to really show his hometown team what he’s capable of, in a chaotic Super Bowl environment.

Kasa’s career stats? One reception, nine yards and a touchdown, which came during a Week 17 loss versus the Broncos in 2013. Comparatively, Olsen is a two-time Pro Bowler with 542 receptions, 6,292 receiving yards, and 49 receiving touchdowns to show for in his NFL career since 2007. So it’s not exactly a mirror image in terms of production.

But Kasa’s 6’6”, 256-pound frame will factor in with the size and build the Broncos’ defense needs to practice for, as Olsen is 6’5” and 253-pounds.

While his playing time might be silent under the Super Bowl noise, practice squad members play a critical role in helping offenses or defenses pick apart opponents’ weaknesses, learning how to exploit them. This will be a long week of film study and practice for Kasa, but staying focused and working out all these months could provide the Broncos with a fresh set of eyes at a critical time.

Now Kasa will get the chance to earn four figures this week with the Broncos, and have the opportunity of a lifetime to not only compete for a roster spot for next season, but for something everyone dreams of: a Super Bowl title.

Said Kasa: “I didn’t see this coming. I thought the season was drawing to an end. I was ready to move on to the next year.” Said Kasa. “I’m ready to go.”

Life can get tough, and things we want might seem out of reach, but remember bros, patience is a virtue—and sometimes patience takes you to the damn Super Bowl.