The Denver Broncos roster is set. If you haven’t seen it here is a quick rundown of it.
Two quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler.
Four running backs, Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman, C.J. Anderson and Juwan Thompson.
Six wide receivers, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Wes Welker, Cody Latimer, Andre Caldwell and Isaiah Burse.
Three tight ends, Julius Thomas, Virgil Green and Jacob Tamme.
Nine offensive linemen, Ryan Clady, Orlando Franklin, Manny Ramirez, Louis Vasquez, Chris Clark, Paul Cornick, Ben Garland, Will Montgomery and Michael Schofield.
Eight defensive linemen, DeMarcus Ware, Terrance Knighton, Sylvester Williams, Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson, Marvin Austin, Mitch Unrein and Quanterus Smith.
Eight linebackers, Brandon Marshall, Nate Irving, Von Miller, Lerentee McCray, Lamin Barrow, Corey Nelson, Steven Johnson and Danny Trevathan.
Six cornerbacks, Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, Bradley Roby, Kayvon Webster, Omar Bolden and Tony Carter.
Four safeties, T.J. Ward, Rahim Moore, Quinton Carter and David Bruton.
Three special teams, Brandon McManus, Britton Colquitt and Aaron Brewer.
There is nothing all that surprising with who made it, but more so how it breaks down. They still carried ten defensive backs, but instead of their normal 5-5 split, they went 6-4 which opened the spot for Tony Carter. They also chose to carry an eighth linebacker, which likely lead to Corey Nelson staying with the team. The reason they went with eight is probably due to the injury of Danny Trevathan.
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To get to the current 53-man roster, they had to make some cuts. Some of them were harder than others. They let go:
Zac Dysert, who cleared waivers and has returned to Denver on the practice squad. Kapri Bibbs, who also cleared waivers to return to Denver on the practice squad. Those two were the two most likely to get picked up elsewhere, but managed to clear waivers. Joining them in the cut, but returning on the practice squad are, Vinston Painter, Bennie Fowler, Shaquil Barrett, Nathan Palmer, John Boyett, Gerell Robinson and Matt Paradis. That leaves one spot open that will likely go to a player from another team. Last year they waited an extra day and claimed LB Brandon Marshall who is starting at “Will” linebacker while Danny Trevathan is hurt.
Painter cleared waivers, which is slightly surprising. He ended up on the 53-man roster last year after the San Francisco 49ers tried signing him off the practice squad. Robinson was one of the last cuts, it likely came down to the fact he was hurt. He cleared waivers, and is back on the practice squad for his final year of eligibility. Barrett, thankfully, cleared waivers. As the preseason went on he established himself as one of the more complete linebackers on the Broncos roster, showing he can contribute in every aspect of the defense and on special teams.
Duke Ihenacho was also one of the cuts, but he got a job in Washington after being claimed on waivers. Kevin Vickerson was let go in favor of Mitch Unrein, something that splits the fan base on being the right or wrong move. Vickerson should catch on elsewhere sometime after the first game of the season. Sione Fua, Cameron Morrah, Jameson Konz, L.J. Fort, Ryan Miller, Jerome Murphy, Brian Sanford, Jordan Sullen and Louis Young also were let go by the Broncos.
The final two moves the Broncos made to get to 53 were placing DE Kenny Anunike on injured reserve and K Matt Prater on the suspended list. Anunike injured his arm in the final preseason, he was fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster before that. As everyone should know by now, Matt Prater was suspended for the first four games on the NFL season. The bye week does not count as he was suspended four games and not four weeks. When the suspension is up, he is to return to the team, but another player will be cut before he can officially be brought over.
There is really no surprises among any of it. The biggest surprise is probably Nathan Palmer making the practice squad. He was invisible all preseason outside of one play against the San Francisco 49ers, where he forced a fumble on a kickoff return. Kapri Bibbs and Juwan Thompson had the returner stopped, Palmer came in and punched the ball out and John Boyett recovered.
What makes Palmer making the practice squad more surprising, that Louis Young didn’t. Obviously the coaches see more than fans do in practice, but during the games Palmer didn’t show up and Young did. Young also showed up in the practice notes from Andrew Mason quite often. He started off training camp with three takeaways in three days, but then miised some time with an injury.
It sucks for the player to get cut, but it is worse when they don’t land elsewhere after first signing phase afterwards. Hopefully they can catch on elsewhere, but that is doubtful.