The Denver Broncos lost one of their young defensive lineman for the entire season on Monday, and it wasn't due to injury. Instead, second-year player Eyioma Uwazurike was suspended for at least the entire 2023 season for violating the league's policy against gambling.
Uwazurike will have to wait until July 24, 2024 to apply to reinstatement to the league.
But will he even be a member of the Broncos when that happens? Though cutting the former fourth-round pick sounds extreme, the idea is likely at least on the table. Recently, the Detroit Lions parted ways with two players who were found to be in violation of the same thing.
It would be tough to move on from a young, promising prospect so quickly, but Uwazurike was slow to develop as a rookie and would certainly be headed down the same path McTelvin Agim went had he had another down season. Now, without even being available, he puts himself and the team in a tough spot.
This also brings the idea of former Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris being signed back to the forefront. If you ask me, it's almost a must at this point.
We will see what the team chooses to do here but the defensive line was already among the weakest positional groups on the roster. The team should seriously bring in a veteran such as Harris and potentially cut ties with Uwazurike as well.
Broncos work out USFL interceptions leader
On Monday, the Broncos also worked out defensive back Mark Gilbert, who most recently played for the Pittsburgh Maulers in the USFL. He recorded 32 tackles in the spring league and also led the entire league with four interceptions.
After being undrafted out of Duke, Gilbert was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers and spent time on their practice squad. He was signed off their practice squad by the Detroit Lions and played in eight games for them, forcing a fumble.
He failed to make the team last year and then was picked back up by the Steelers last October before spending this spring with the Maulers.
He made a good enough impression there to get another shot in the NFL and if the Broncos decide to sign him, he will have to compete for a roster spot within a crowded secondary.