The Denver Broncos released veteran DL Zach Kerr and LB Dekoda Watson. What do these roster moves mean cap-wise and for other guys on the team?
The Broncos had re-signed Kerr this offseason to a two-year contract worth $5 million, but apparently just $600,000 guaranteed.
The team traded a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft with the San Francisco 49ers for Watson and a sixth-round pick.
Why did the Broncos make these moves now? There are probably a few reasons for that.
First of all, the Broncos needed cap space desperately. These two moves alone freed up about $3.3 million in cap space. According to OverTheCap.com, that more than doubles their previously available cap space of almost $2.35 million.
The Broncos are strapped against the cap right now and they have areas on the team that need to be addressed.
These two moves are likely only the first couple the Broncos will be making to free up some space.
Do good by the veterans
The Broncos are doing good for these two veteran players by cutting them early on in the process to allow them to get chances elsewhere before every team has to make 37 roster moves on Saturday.
Both Kerr and Watson will be on rosters this season somewhere, but it won’t be in Denver. Releasing them now allows them a head start on some other veteran players.
The emergence of young players
The Broncos may not have made these moves if it weren’t for the emergence of guys like undrafted rookie Malik Reed, former second-round pick DeMarcus Walker, and nose tackle Mike Purcell.
The Broncos only had two players over 300 pounds on the defensive line on the entire roster, and one of them was Kerr. With Mike Purcell’s really strong play of late, you have to wonder if he’s not going to get one of the final spots on the 53-man roster.
I did a video breakdown of his play in the preseason game against the Rams you can see here.
DeMarcus Walker is also playing really well this training camp and preseason.
Need for other positions
The Broncos’ need for a sixth defensive lineman with the experience of Kerr and a fourth edge player with the experience of Watson has recently been trumped by their needs at inside linebacker, backup quarterback, punt returner, fifth cornerback, and punter.
With very little cap space and a number of needs, the Broncos had to get moving quickly.