3 Denver Broncos playing their way off the roster this preseason

• Former fan favorite struggling to make plays

• Will kick returning be enough for Tremon Smith?

• How much does Sean Payton trust Marquez Callaway?

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1. Marquez Callaway, WR

When Marquez Callaway signed with the Broncos, he was happy to be reunited with Sean Payton. A product of Tennessee, Callaway signed as an undrafted free agent with the New Orleans Saints and spent the first three seasons of his career with them.

In 2022, he had just 16 receptions for 158 yards but it was the worst campaign of his young career. It was also the only year Payton wasn't his head coach and play-caller.

With Payton, he looked much better. Callaway had 32 receptions for 213 yards in just 11 games as a rookie and then out up 698 yards and six touchdowns in 2021 off 46 receptions.

Looking at those numbers, it's easy to see why he decided to sign in Denver. But at first, Payton didn't seem to be overly thrilled with Callaway.

Early in OTAs, Payton called him out for his conditioning, saying "his weight is a little high." He followed that up by assuring reporters he would get that under control, but that's far from the impression the 25-year-old wideout wanted to make.


Things haven't been a whole lot better in the preseason. After two games, Callaway has just one reception on three targets for seven yards. He's also been quiet in practices.

Denver is without Tim Patrick once again, so there's still a chance Callaway sneaks onto the roster due to his familiarity with Payton. But it wouldn't hurt for him to put up at least one impressive outing in the preseason.

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