Every year, NFL franchises make unplanned cuts and trades to accommodate for over-performing rookies and young players. The Denver Broncos are no exception and could be a team that moves on from several veterans this year. Rookie and veteran minicamps have started for the Denver Broncos, where we finally start to see the new weapons on offense and defense on the field.
We can also start to make assumptions on who could be cut or trade candidates throughout the buildup to the NFL Season.
While most of the major roster battles will be held during training camp, the rookie minicamps and OTA’s can give us insight on which veterans are in jeopardy of losing a roster spot to a younger player.
George Paton has already been at work this offseason trimming the fat off the roster, including the unfortunate scenario of Ja’Wuan James after suffering yet another injury. James’ off-site injury allowed the Broncos to move off of his contract with minimal salary-cap repercussions.
Like James, DaeSean Hamilton was on the roster bubble and was in line to be traded before suffering a season-ending injury while training. Hamilton was recently released after his injury.
So, who are other possible cut and trade candidates? Some names are more likely than others, but all of the following have a legitimate path to being released or traded by the Denver Broncos in order to save money or to allow younger players to develop on the field.
Here are some possible cut and trade candidates for the Denver Broncos:
Denver Broncos Cut Candidate: Royce Freeman, RB
Let’s get this one out of the way first.
After bringing in Mike Boone and Javonte Williams this offseason, George Paton looks to be heading in a different direction at the running back position. Freeman’s job was already in jeopardy last year after the Broncos signed Melvin Gordon to a two-year deal, but now Freeman’s fate with the Broncos is all but sealed.
Freeman was a 3rd round pick for the Denver Broncos in 2018 but was quickly jumped by fellow rookie UDFA Phillip Lindsay for playing time. Lindsay became the spark plug for an otherwise stagnant offense while Freeman faded into a backup role with the team.
Freeman was expected to see more playing time during the 2019 NFL Season but failed to grab hold of a part-time role with Lindsay in the backfield. In 2020, Melvin Gordon was brought in to share time with Lindsay, and Freeman’s role was reduced to a Special Teams ace.
Things just haven’t worked out between Freeman and the Broncos, unfortunately. Now with Williams and Boone figuring to factor into the Denver Broncos plans moving forward, allowing Freeman a fair chance on the open market seems best for both parties.