The Broncos released Khalfani Muhammad, which could speak volumes about a prominent UDFA on the roster.
The impact of COVID-19 on the professional sports world has been substantial, and NFL teams (and players) are starting to experience that impact. The Denver Broncos began making some roster moves to get down to 80 players instead of 90, even though it’s not mandated before the middle of August.
The eight roster moves the Broncos made to let go of players involved:
- DL Joel Heath
- WR Kelvin McKnight
- QB Riley Neal
- S Kahani Smith
- LB Tre’ Crawford
- CB Shakial Taylor
- OL Nico Falah
In addition to those seven names, the Broncos let go of running back Khalfani Muhammad, one of the team’s 2019 preseason stars who made a really strong case for the roster before spending all of last year on the practice squad.
Muhammad is one of the fastest players on the team and certainly an exciting playmaker with the ball in his hands, and many in Broncos Country were excited about the potential he had, but the team is going in a different direction.
While this is disappointing from the perspective that the fan base has been watching some of Muhammad’s development behind the scenes for the past couple of years, it’s also potentially very good news for one of the team’s prominent undrafted free agents.
That prominent undrafted free agent? LeVante Bellamy, a running back out of Western Michigan.
With NFL rosters now allowed to expand their practice squads to 16 players with four basically protected players, Bellamy is a guy to keep an eye on.
Bellamy scored 23 touchdowns on the ground last year for Western Michigan and, similar to guys like Muhammad and Phillip Lindsay, he’s got big-time speed and burst along with toughness between the tackles despite not being the biggest back.
The Broncos’ investment in Bellamy after the 2020 NFL Draft also speaks volumes to what the team thinks about him. They gave him a $25,000 signing bonus and guaranteed $35,000 in his salary, a $60,000 guarantee in total. That’s one of the highest total guarantees John Elway has given out.
The Broncos have Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon atop the running back depth chart along with 2018 third-round pick Royce Freeman, who is capable. It will be tough for a fourth running back to make the final 53-man roster, but it’s not impossible either.
Bellamy can fight his way onto the team even without a 2020 preseason. We will see if the team’s confidence in him pays off.