3 AFC West cut candidates the Broncos could swoop in and sign

Training camp is getting closer, rosters will be reduced from 90 to 53 and players will get cut. Can the Broncos snag someone from their division rivals?
Denver Broncos
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The NFL 2024-25 season is getting closer, as training camp starts next week for multiple teams. During camp and preseason, coaches evaluate their players to determine which ones make the 53-man roster and which are practice squad candidates. With a new rookie class joining the teams and their respective free agency additions, multiple players will be in the roster bubble and not make a team.

All 32 teams must have 53 players on their rosters by the end of the preseason. These players might not have a good opportunity on the team that cuts them, but they could have a better chance to make a roster on another team that gives them a chance.

As the NFL preseason approaches, teams will finalize their rosters and cut many talented players. This presents an opportunity for the Broncos to snag some of these free agents, potentially improving their roster and practice squad, and boosting their chances of winning. There could be some intriguing names among the released players within the AFC West that the Broncos could snag. All three are tight ends, the weakest position group in Denver's roster.

AFC West cut candidates the Broncos could snag

Harrison Bryant, TE Raiders

The Raiders signed tight ends Harrison Bryant and Zach Gentry at the start of free agency to complement Michael Mayer. In the 2024 Draft, they selected superstar Brock Bowers with the 13th overall pick, which puts one or both free-agent additions on the roster bubble. They could go with four tight ends on the roster to help their quarterbacks as much as possible, but it is unlikely.

Gentry might be the one left out, but with Bowers and Mayer there, both Bryant and Gentry could not have a spot. Gentry can be the blocking guy, and Bryant was seen as the Austin Hooper replacement; he might be the one out. Bryant is an underrated tight end who had 10 touchdowns in 65 games with the Cleveland Browns before joining the Raiders. He could be a nice pickup for Denver if cut.

Irv Smith Jr., TE Chiefs

Though Kansas City secured veteran tight end Irv Smith Jr. at the start of free agency, they doubled the position during the NFL Draft by selecting TCU Jared Wiley in the fourth round and signing Texas Tech Baylor Cupp as an undrafted free agent. Cupp, an athletic player who has impressed, has a chance to make the roster and is a cheaper alternative to Smith. Veteran Noah Gray, already a reliable weapon for Patrick Mahomes, seems safe. Wiley has a guaranteed spot on the roster. Irv Smith could be the odd man out, as it is unlikely for KC to have more than four tight ends on the final roster.

It is unlikely that Kansas City will go with four or five tight ends on their 53-man roster, and Smith will likely be the odd man out. Smith is still young, he is 25 years old and could be a solid addition to Denver's tight end room, the weakest one in the offense. With Dulcich uncertainty, adding a tight end could make sense.

Donald Parham Jr., TE Chargers

Another tight end in Donald Parham Jr. on the list. Gerald Everett left Los Angeles to sign with the Chicago Bears, leaving them with Parham and Stone Smartt. Following Everett's departure, the Chargers signed the former first-round pick, Hayden Hurst and Will Dissly, two tight ends with more than 1,400 career receiving yards, likely leaving Parham as the one out. Los Angeles also signed Zach Heins and Luke Benson as undrafted free agents. Teams usually have three tight ends on their 53-man roster, and the third-stringer mostly plays on special teams. Parham has not played on special teams since his second season, likely having one of the UDFA's as the third guy here.

Parham is a guy who had career-highs in yards and touchdowns last season with 285 and 4 respectively, which is 81 more yards and one more touchdown compared to Adam Trautman, who statistically led the Broncos tight end room. Heins is showing out in minicamps, he can block and play special teams. He is younger and cheaper for the Chargers, which puts Parham in the roster bubble.