ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --With good health and accuracy in the craft, an NFL long snapper can carve out a career that lasts for a dozen or more years.
If Aaron Brewer plays out the four-year contract to which he agreed Thursday, he's more than halfway there.
The last three years, Brewer delivered exactly what the Broncos expected when they kept him ahead of veteran Lonie Paxton during the 2012 preseason: accuracy and athleticism to get downfield and make plays. Brewer has eight career special-teams tackles and is often one of the first Broncos downfield on punts when the need arises.
Even though Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis is new to the job, Brewer's performance on film was enough to compel him and the Broncos to make the four-year veteran a building block on which to rebuild the special teams after some scattershot play overall.
The added benefit of giving a four-year deal to Brewer is the immediate salary-cap and cash relief that it provides.
As a restricted free agent, the tender to Brewer would have been an estimated $1.542 million, but none of it would have been guaranteed if he didn't make the 53-man roster. A veteran-minimum contract would have been less than half of that ($745,000).
It's a mutually beneficial deal: Brewer gets a contract with a signing bonus, and the Broncos get to avoid an exorbitant one-year cap figure for a long snapper -- while having a trustworthy, dependable player at a skill that is difficult to master. Brewer has, and if he stays healthy, could have many years in orange and blue ahead of him.