Nick Kasa was just an ordinary Denver Broncos fan when he was called by the team to sign before Super Bowl 50.  (David Zalubowski/2012 AP)

Nick Kasa was just an ordinary Denver Broncos fan when he was called by the team to sign before Super Bowl 50. (David Zalubowski/2012 AP)

Broncos sign free agent to help prepare for Greg Olsen

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Last Sunday, Nick Kasa was like any other fan of the Denver Broncos.

On Super Bowl Sunday, he’ll be one of the Denver Broncos.

The tight end, out of football since the spring, got a phone call while sitting in the stands last weekend, watching the Broncos beat New England in the AFC title game.

He dropped his phone and cracked the screen — that’s another story — but when he finally restored his service, he learned the Broncos wanted to sign him to the practice squad to help them get ready for the Super Bowl against Carolina.

“It’s been pretty crazy. Kind of indescribable,” said Kasa, who was signed Monday and would have to be activated from the practice squad in order to play in the game. “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.”

That includes playing the part of Panthers tight end Greg Olsen in practice. He’s been studying film of the Pro Bowl tight end to give Denver’s top-ranked defense an accurate portrayal.

“My role is to be the best Greg Olsen that I can,” said Kasa, who went to high school in Broomfield, Colorado, and played at the University of Colorado. “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. Surprised me with this call. I’m ready to go.”

Kasa was drafted in the sixth round by the Raiders in 2013, and played in all 16 games his rookie season. The only catch of his career was in the final week of that season, when he hauled in a 9-yard TD pass against, fittingly enough, the Broncos.

He missed 2014 after being placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL. Last spring, the Raiders let him go and he’s been looking for an NFL job ever since.

To stay in tip-top tight-end shape, Kasa worked out just a few blocks away from Denver’s practice facility.

“Still pretty much the same start to my day,” Kasa cracked.

Only now he’s making around $6,600 per week on the practice squad and will be going with the team to Santa Clara for the big game. He gets Super Bowl tickets, too, even if he won’t be suiting up.

“It’s a freaking dream come true, for sure,” the 25-year-old Kasa said. “I don’t know how to describe it. … It’s just good to be here. I don’t want to distract from this team at all. They’ve been working hard for a long time.”

To think, he initially missed a call he’s been waiting so long to receive. While attending the AFC championship game, the phone dropped out of his hand and the screen broke. As he was taking in Denver’s 20-18 win over Tom Brady and the Patriots, the team was trying to get in touch with him.

It wasn’t until the next day, when he picked up a new phone, that he saw the messages.

His heart sank.

“I was freaking out, for sure,” Kasa said. “But got it all turned around in enough time and made it over here. Now, I’m just on to however I can help.”

Carolina PanthersDenver Broncosfree agent signinggreg olsenNFLnfl free agentnick kasaSuper Bowl 50tight end

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, during a news conference on March 10, 2020. (Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
LA County suspends outdoor dining at restaurants as coronavirus surges

By Alex Wigglesworth Los Angeles Times Los Angeles County public health officials… Continue reading

Renderings of the main entrance to upcoming Mission Bay elementary school on Owens Street. (Courtesy photo)
SFUSD offers first look at planned Mission Bay elementary school

San Francisco school officials this month unveiled the design of a planned… Continue reading

James Coleman (Courtesy Morgan McCarthy)
Young progressive set to shake up South City

The 21-year-old is the newest Councilmember for District 4

Arturo Mendez, co-curator of the Mission Arts Performance Project, invites artists of all types to participate in the free-wheeling community program. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Mission Arts Performance Project could be poised for a comeback

Before the pandemic, the Mission Arts Performance Project, the roving multimedia art… Continue reading

B-Boy Spaghetti of Norway was among the international artists taking part in the world premiere of “Isolation in Humanity,” a collaboration commissioned by the International Hip Hop DanceFest festival showcasing b-boying, popping, krump, house, and contemporary dance. (Photo courtesy Ekopics)
Performers pop, lock, spin and sit at International Hip Hop DanceFest Saturday

Spinning, popping and flipping — and at times sitting — performers in… Continue reading

Most Read