The Denver Broncos got CB De’Vante Bausby back on the practice squad.
There were plenty in Denver Broncos Country on Saturday who were lamenting the team’s decision to cut cornerback De’Vante Bausby, a promising player who started some in 2019 and was competing for the CB3 job in 2020.
Obviously, Bausby did not emerge victorious from the 2020 CB3 battle. That job will go initially to one of Davontae Harris, Duke Dawson, Michael Ojemudia, or Essang Bassey.
With that said, no one thought Bausby would get cut by the Broncos, but he did.
That move drew some vitriol from the Broncos faithful, but obviously John Elway and the front office knew something none of us did.
The Denver Broncos brought in Bausby in 2019 after the AAF went under. He had played really well in that league after spending some time in the NFL previously with the Philadelphia Eagles and with Vic Fangio and the Chicago Bears.
Bausby had other offers for different practice squads around the league, but he’s in really good shape here with the Denver Broncos even though he’s not on the active roster.
NFL teams are allowed to bring players up from the practice squad (up to two per week) without having to subject those players to waivers each week. With gameday rosters up to 48 players from 46, it’s possible that someone like Bausby could be called upon sooner rather than later to actually step in and play.
Bausby has excellent speed, length, and reactive quickness at the cornerback position. He was making plays early on in training camp and it seemed almost a consensus that he was the clear front-runner for the third cornerback job, essentially a starting position in the Broncos’ defense.
He suffered a soft-tissue injury that kept him out for too long, apparently, and he was overtaken by Harris, Dawson, and Bassey.
The Broncos are also going with guys in Harris, Dawson, and Bassey who have multiple years of team control as far as their contracts are concerned. These are young guys the Broncos believe they can (and to a degree, have) developed, and it’s hard to fault a really young team going with the younger options at corner when Bausby is one a one-year deal.
For veteran players, the practice squad salary is about $200,000, so the Broncos are also getting Bausby at a pretty substantial discount from his previous $825,000 salary.
The Broncos are fortunate that Bausby made it back to their practice squad. Not that they couldn’t have found depth elsewhere, but Bausby has done well in Fangio’s scheme with the reps he’s been given, and he provides some stability for the team knowing he chose to be there over other offers.