Well the first NFL cut day deadline it 2pm ET on August 26th. Teams around the NFL are starting to make their cuts, and the Denver Broncos are part of them. They sat at 88 players on their roster and needed to get rid of 13 to get down to the NFL set 75. One of those moves will eventually be moving WR Jordan Norwood to injured reserve. Outside of that, they made eleven cuts, meaning one more move will need to occur by the deadline.
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The eleven players cut by Denver:
QB Bryn Renner waived
RB Brennan Clay waived
RB Jerodis Williams waived
WR Greg Wilson waived
WR Greg Hardin waived
OT Winston Justice released
DE Chase Vaughn waived/injured
DT Will Pericak waived
LB Jamar Chaney terminated/injured
LB Jerrell Harris waived
S Charles Mitchell waived
There are not many surprises here. It needs to be remembered that most teams keep their practice squad candidates around until the final cut day. Meaning these players are unlikely to return, with the exception of Chase Vaughn who might be placed on IR if he clears waivers.
To many, the biggest surprise is Winston Justice. However, it has become clear that Paul Cornick is higher up than Justice. Cornick has been exclusively working with the second unit in the preseason. Only time Justice was part of the second unit was against the Seattle Seahawks. Justice was the second unit LT and Cornick the RT. After that Justice was the third string LT, and saw no reps in the loss to the Houston Texans.
Bryn Renner being cut is a bit surprising. With it unlikely Peyton Manning plays in the final preseason game, it was figured a third QB would be kept behind Brock Osweiler and Zac Dysert for garbage time duties. But, with the coaching staff wanting to give Brock and Zac as many opportunities as possible, it is less surprising.
The two biggest surprises to me were Will Pericak and Greg Wilson. Pericak was a DL able to play inside or out and in his time he looked a lot better than a couple other DL that were not cut. In the case of Wilson, he saw a lot of time against the 49ers and played really well. Seeing him go over Nathan Palmer, who has not seen targets, was a surprise as well.
Nothing else is close to being surprising. Greg Hardin and Brennan Clay sealed their fate with drops against the Texans. So close to cut day, you cannot be doing that. Jerodis Williams was never able to crack the lineup outside of garbage time against the 49ers. Chaney was expected. He fell down the depth chart and the injury apparently sealed his fate. Harris is part of a deep rush linebacker group and never was able to crack the lineup to show what he can do. Charles Mitchell getting cut is a little surprising. He wasn’t getting serious amount of reps, but he looked to be making the most of the ones he got. He was good on special teams and physical on defense.
Obviously, there is a lot more the coaches see that the fans do not. A lot of the reasoning behind these cuts come from practice. With the Broncos sitting at 77, stay tuned for their last two moves to get to 75.