Out with the old and in with the new was the Denver Broncos thinking Monday when they cut longtime long snapper Lonie Paxton. All NFL teams had to cut their roster down to 75 men, but there weren’t many teams that cut a three-time Super Bowl winning NFL staple.
Paxton was entering his 13th season in the NFL, and played in all 16 games in the three seasons that he was with the Broncos. Prior to becoming a Bronco, Paxton played for the New England Patriots for nine seasons. He’s only missed three games in his 12-year career.
I would like to thank the Denver Broncos fans, organization and media for their support for me, my family and for the Active Force Foundation. My support for the Denver and Colorado community will never change even if my uniform does. Our Wounded Warriors will continue to be a priority for AFF in Colorado along with the Colorado Adaptive Sport Foundation & community. -Lonie Paxton’s statement (The Denver Post)
By cutting Paxton, the Broncos did make $1.29 million in cap room. However, John Fox described the situation as wanting better coverage and more athleticism on special teams rather than it being a financial decision.
With that said, the Broncos think undrafted rookie Aaron Brewer is their guy to replace Paxton. Brewer hails from San Diego State where he had 15 tackles on special teams in 50 games. (Paxton had five tackles in 49 games for the Broncos). Brewer split time with Paxton in preseason. Brewer recorded 18 snaps in preseason games with 12 of them coming on punts and 6 coming on field goals or extra points.
The NFL has used 12 rookie long snappers in the last five years, but I’m sure some team will be eager to sign Paxton.