The Denver Broncos will open up training camp later this month, their first camp under new head coach Sean Payton. The team will then play three preseason games to help determine the best 53-man roster to begin the season with.
That is going to be an interesting process this year as Payton is going to have a much different perspective on things than Nathaniel Hackett did. Only the top players on the team are going to be guaranteed roster spots as Payton is not going to be afraid to move on from very many of these guys.
With that said, a few veterans on the roster who could easily be considered "fringe" or "bubble" players won't be able to coast in practices and exhibition games. Though preseason games don't "count" in the standings, to say that they don't matter is completely inaccurate.
For these four players — and perhaps others — this is going to be an important summer in their careers and their time with the Broncos.
Broncos veteran who can't afford to have a subpar preseason: Mike Purcell
The Broncos are not particularly deep on the defensive line and aside from D.J. Jones and free-agent signing Zach Allen, the rest is pretty much wide open. One would think that the veteran Mike Purcell could slide into a roster spot quite comfortably, but that will be far from the case.
The Broncos have two intriguing second-year players in Eyioma Uwazurike and Matt Henningsen. PJ Mustipher is an undrafted player to keep tabs on and Tyler Lancaster, who came over in free agency, could easily be preferred by Payton over Purcell.
Purcell is a guy who former head coach Vic Fangio really liked but he is certainly going to have to prove himself to a completely different staff now.