For football fans, this is one of the most unfortunate times of year. NFL teams have to trim their rosters from 90 players to 75 players by 4 P.M. Eastern Time Tuesday, August 27. This is when the NFL dream ends for so many football players.
The Denver Broncos waived 11 players, dropping them to 77. They must still waive two more before the deadline of 75. They will have to cut 25 more before August 31st.
For many fans, these are names that you won’t recognize. However, the devoted fan will no doubt be familiar with them. Here is a breakdown of the moves and my take on how they’ll affect the bottom line for the team.
TE Deangelo Peterson
DE Lanston Tanyi
WR Kemonte Bateman
G/T Manase Foketi
QB Ryan Katz
CB Nigel Malone
These were all players with an unlikely shot at making the roster. Some still have a shot at the practice squad, though. All are undrafted free agents, with the exception of Deangelo Peterson, who is going into his second season in the league.
C Quentin Saulsberry
Saulsberry was a long shot to make the roster. He remains best known for being the 4th Broncos arrest this spring.
Here’s where it gets interesting:
CB Mario Butler
Butler was on last season’s practice squad. He was expected to have the inside track at being this season’s practice squad CB. However, with this move, the only remaining CB who should make the practice squad is Aaron Hester.
LB Uona Kaveinga
Kaveinga is a bit of a surprise to me. To my eyes, he far outplayed Damien Holmes in the preseason and I expected him to at least make it until the next round of cuts. With the Von suspension, he ended up on a mock depth chart of mine a few weeks back.
WR Quincy McDuffie (waived/injured)
Cutting McDuffie is not a surprising move. What is surprising is that it happened now. I expected he would make it until the next round of cuts as well. McDuffie is a WR/return specialist from the University of Central Florida. He was expected to challenge Trindon Holliday for the returner spot.
Some thought he would be a practice squad player. However, being designated waived/injured means that if he clears waivers, he will be added to Injured Reserve.
WR Greg Orton (waived/injured)
Although he had a fantastic OTAs, Orton’s consistent injuries throughout training camp just ended up hurting his roster chances too much. Cutting the former AFL star isn’t a surprise, but again, I would have expected him to survive another round of cuts. Like McDuffie, he’s been waived/injured, which means he might end up on IR.
Cutting WRs Bateman, McDuffie and Orton indicates the Broncos are fairly satisfied with the state of their WR corps. The remaining WRs not guaranteed roster spots are Andre Caldwell, Tavarres King, Gerell Robinson and Lamaar Thomas. Expect Caldwell and King to end up on the roster and Robinson (more likely) or Thomas to be practice squad players.
Those are the cuts so far. Two more have yet to happen and I will break those down when they occur. One thing is for sure: the Broncos have great depth this year. Some of the players, especially the second round of cuts, have a good shot at ending up on another roster.
Best of luck to everybody whom the Broncos have released. It’s a business, and some eggs have to be broken in order to end up with a ring.