A Punter? What the Pick Means For Britton Colquitt
What the pick of Syracuse’s punter Riley Dixon means for current Broncos punter Britton Colquitt…
So the Broncos took a punter in this years NFL draft huh? That was a pick that turned a few heads this past Saturday during the seventh round of the draft. Meet Riley Dixon, the Syracuse product that has found a new home as perhaps, the future punter of the Denver Broncos.
Elway seemed to think enough of the punter to use a draft pick on a position not typically reserved for the draft. As Tylor Walden pointed out the other day here, he downed 43 punts inside of the 20 yard line. That is fantastic production from a position that the Broncos could probably use next season. Oh, and he can also do this:
So what does this draft pick mean for current punter Britton Colquitt? If I’m reading the writing on the wall it would suggest that this is probably going to be the end of Colquitt in a Broncos uniform for a couple of reasons:
First would be production. Colquitt delivered a brilliant performance in the playoffs last year when it really mattered, but his play over the 2015 regular season, and also the entire 2014 season was spotty at best. He was not punting up to par with what the Broncos came to expect when they made him, at the time, the highest paid punter in the NFL. Already, Dixon may be the better contributor, not just for the future, but for the now. If he can continue to post the kind of numbers he did in college, and display the type of hang time needed in the NFL, there is no doubt he can outperform Colquitt, and earn the starting job. Also, if he can make plays like the one above, he can become a weapon on a few fake punts or field goals that could swing the tide of a game or two.
The second, and probably more important issue is the contract. It’s no secret the the Broncos are pressed pretty hard up against the cap, and Britton Colquitt is due to make $4 million this coming season. Granted, this could be a power play to again spurn a pay cut from Colquitt. Remember last year, the Broncos brought in the youtube sensation to compete with Colquitt in camp, and Colquitt ended up taking a 50% reduction in pay to avoid being cut. However, the fact that Elway used a valuable draft pick, instead of waiting to see if Dixon was available as an UDFA, it seems more likely this year the Broncos would prefer to roll with the youngster on a minimum salary deal, and save the cap room to hopefully add some important pieces, or free up money to resign a Von Miller, Brandon Marshall, or Emmanuel Sanders to a new deal.
It would certainly seem like Britton Colquitt is going to be on the outs in Denver. However, everyone in Broncos Country should thank him for a brilliant 2015 postseason. I would certainly expect the Super Bowl Champion punter to find a new home in the league very quickly.
With all that said;
Welcome to Denver Riley Dixon, we are excited to have you.