Broncos To Cut Chase Edmonds, Ronald Darby

Broncos cost-clearing moves are commencing. They are cutting Chase Edmonds, Adam Schefter of tweets. Part of the Bradley Chubb trade last year, Edmonds will head straight to free agency as a vested veteran.

This has long been one of the expected moves the team can make to create cap space, and $5.9MM in savings will emerge as a result. A former Cardinals regular, Edmonds did not have a chance to make much of an impact in Denver.

The Broncos are also releasing Ronald Darby, Ian Rapoport of reports (on Twitter). The Darby transaction will lead to more savings for the AFC West franchise. Darby was set to earn $12.7MM in base salary next season; Denver will save $9.6MM by releasing the veteran cornerback.

The Dolphins sent over Edmonds in the Chubb deal for salary purposes, offloading the two-year, $12.1MM contract they authorized in free agency last year. That deal brought the Broncos a first-round pick, which the team ended up sending to the Saints in exchange for Sean Payton‘s rights. During an injury-abbreviated stint, Edmonds ended up totaling just 26 carries as a Bronco. He did perform better in Denver compared to his Miami work (2.9 yards per carry on 42 totes), but the former Cardinal starter will hit free agency at a bad time. Several starter-caliber backs join Edmonds on the market this year, creating a buyer’s environment at a position in which not too many teams figure to allocate notable resources.

Denver made a more notable investment in Darby back in 2021, giving him a three-year deal worth $30MM. This was one of GM George Paton‘s first signings. While Darby played well when available, the 30-year-old cover man could not shake the injury issues that plagued him prior to his Colorado trip. Darby missed six games for the Broncos in 2021 and suffered a torn ACL five games into the ’22 season.

Dealing with injuries to numerous starters last season, the Broncos encountered a brutal stretch during a four-day October stretch. They lost Darby, Garett Bolles and Javonte Williams to season-ending injuries between a Week 4 loss to the Raiders and an ugly Week 5 loss to the Colts. That created a need in the backfield, with Latavius Murray pitching in to fill it as well.

Despite being 32 and on a free agent market with a number of younger backs, Murray may have a path back to Denver. Payton coached him in New Orleans and spoke fondly of the veteran during interviews recently. Murray returning on a low-cost deal as a backup/Williams insurance option may end up coming to pass, though the Broncos will probably seek out a better insurance option alongside Murray in the event their starter is not ready to return from his ACL tear to start the season.

Following Darby’s injury, the Broncos turned to fourth-round rookie Damarri Mathis opposite All-Pro Patrick Surtain II. While cornerback may end up being a need area in Denver, the team does have slot man K’Waun Williams under contract as well. A new defensive coordinator — Vance Joseph — being in place, however, will probably lead to the Broncos looking around at the position this offseason. With no picks in the first or second rounds, the Broncos figure to be active in free agency.

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