5 players that would be shocking cuts for the Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos, Jonathon Cooper
Denver Broncos, Jonathon Cooper /
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Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos, Jonathon Cooper (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

Denver Broncos potentially shocking cut no. 5: Jonathon Cooper, OLB

When you start looking at the Denver Broncos’ numbers game off the edge, you can’t help but wonder what the future is going to hold. This position group is loaded for the Broncos heading into the final week of the preseason, and there’s really no easy way to go about projecting which guys could be cut and which guys will stick around.

Special teams will be crucial, which is why I think you look at someone like Aaron Patrick — who has been called a “core” special teams player by coordinator Dwayne Stukes — as more of a roster lock than he may appear on the surface.

The question then becomes, who is the odd man out?

The Broncos will go into the 2022 season with at least five of these guys on the active roster:

  • Randy Gregory
  • Bradley Chubb
  • Baron Browning
  • Nik Bonitto
  • Malik Reed
  • Aaron Patrick
  • Jonathon Cooper

At most, you might be able to find six spots for seven guys. Could we see a trade on the horizon for one of these players? That’s very much a possibility at this point. Over the course of the 2022 offseason, though, it’s been Jonathon Cooper that has missed a bunch of time after having surgery to repair an injured finger.

Cooper was back out on the field for the Broncos against the Buffalo Bills and he was flying around like usual. He was really the team’s late-round gem from that 2021 NFL Draft class and he showed some really outstanding stuff throughout the course of his rookie season.

The question is, was it good enough to earn him a roster spot in 2022? In my opinion, I think the Broncos would be fools to let someone like Cooper just hit the waiver wire. He would absolutely get picked up by some other team. He’s capable of playing special teams and being a factor in your rotation off the edge, and the Broncos have struggled to bring consistent edge pressure in recent years. Not to mention, he has three years of team control on his contract as things stand right now.

I think the Broncos should find a team that is willing to trade something decent for Malik Reed, get him an opportunity somewhere with more snaps available, and roll with six players off the edge while sacrificing on the active roster at stack linebacker. Cutting Cooper to potentially include someone like Joe Schobert on the roster would drive me absolutely nuts.