5 Broncos players that should be traded instead of cut

Denver Broncos, Malik Reed - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos, Malik Reed - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Denver Broncos have already started making some moves to get the roster from 80 players to just 53 with a flurry of moves expected over the next couple of days. The first move? The team decided to go with the younger, cheaper option at the punter position with Corliss Waitman replacing the incumbent Sam Martin. Martin was actually one of the players I considered including for this particular exercise, especially because there are other NFL teams that need punter help.

As it turns out, Martin will be free to choose his next team and the Broncos will simply be happy with the $2.25 million in salary cap savings.

As other roster moves continue to trickle in, what players should the Broncos be trying to trade before they have to release or waive them? There are plenty, although general manager George Paton acknowledged he was already prepared to lose some talented players on waivers this year. Which players should the Broncos hold onto as long as they need to in order to make a trade, though?

Let’s look through five players on this roster that are too good to just cut.

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos, Malik Reed (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Denver Broncos trade candidates: Malik Reed, EDGE

Of all the Denver Broncos players that are currently “on the bubble”, I think the most obvious trade candidate has to be outside linebacker Malik Reed. Reed was an outstanding find in the class of 2019 by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent, and he’s made the most of his opportunities with the team. He’s been effectively a starter for this team since his rookie year, but the Broncos have obviously made the choice to go a different direction at this point.

I’m talking about the transition of off-ball linebacker Baron Browning to the edge position, the drafting of Nik Bonitto with the team’s top pick in 2022, as well as the signing of big-money free agent Randy Gregory. If the Broncos end up keeping six edge players, there’s certainly room for Reed there if they want him. Even if they just keep five, you could justify him as a top-five edge player on this roster.

As of right now, though, there will be better opportunities elsewhere for Reed to showcase what he can do and get himself a good contract in free agency in 2022. The Broncos need to make sure they get some value for Reed, who could start for a number of teams right now.