Broncos Rumors

Broncos Worked Out WR Travis Rudolph

The Broncos’ WR corps represents one of the club’s biggest question marks in 2019. The unit is fronted by Emmanuel Sanders, but Sanders is 32 and is coming off a torn Achilles. Denver hopes that second-year players Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton will continue to progress, and former UDFA Tim Patrick flashed at the end of last season, but it may be asking a bit much for all three players to consistently perform at a high level in 2019.

To that end, the Broncos continue to be on the lookout for WR depth, and they signed rookie wideout Jamarius Way yesterday. Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post expects sixth-round rookie Juwann Winfree and UDFA Trinity Benson to make the club, and Benson has been playing particularly well, even earning some playing time with the first-stringers.

As Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets, before the Broncos signed Way, they also worked out Travis Rudolph. Rudolph, a Florida State product, signed with the Giants after going undrafted in 2017, and he saw action in seven games (one start) for Big Blue that year. He posted eight catches for 101 yards.

New York waived Rudolph last September, and he signed on with the Dolphins’ practice squad in October. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL during a practice with Miami, which brought his season to an end. Jhabvala notes that Rudolph’s tryout with Denver was his first since the injury, and while the Broncos went in a different direction, it’s encouraging that Rudolph has been cleared for football activities. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him get more workouts in the coming weeks.  

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WR Trinity Benson Works With First Team

  • We have taken several looks at the Broncos‘ WR corps over the past week or so, and UDFA Trinity Benson‘s name keeps cropping up. As Mike Klis of 9News.com writes, Benson took reps with the first-team offense Saturday and caught several passes from Joe Flacco. New head coach Vic Fangio said he will continue to put his unproven players on the field with the presumptive starters, and it seems that Benson has acquitted himself nicely thus far. The fact that he served as a kickoff and punt returner in college will only help his cause.

Broncos Sign WR Jamarius Way

It’s been a busy day for the Broncos, and the team has now added a wide receiver. The team announced that they’ve signed rookie wideout Jamarius Way. In a corresponding move, the Broncos placed receiver Romell Guerrier on the reserve/retired list. We learned earlier today that Guerrier is retiring.

Way has been busy since going undrafted back in April. The University of South Alabama product participated as a tryout player at the Packers, Buccaneers and Dolphins rookie minicamps.

The six-foot-four wideout had a pair of productive seasons at South Alabama. In 23 total games, Way hauled in 108 receptions for 1,617 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also added another seven carries for 38 yards.

The Broncos have revamped the bottom of the receivers depth chart over the past week. Besides today’s moves involving Way and Guerrier, the organization added Steven Dunbar Jr. to replace the retired Aaron Burbridge. There’s uncertainty surrounding Emmanuel Sanders‘ return from a torn Achilles, meaning someone will have to step up to join Sanders, Courtland Sutton, and DaeSean Hamilton atop the depth chart.

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Broncos’ John Elway Talks Retirement, Flacco, Rookies

Things haven’t necessarily gone as planned for the Broncos since they won the Super Bowl during the 2015 campaign. The organization hasn’t made the postseason in three years, and they’ve combined for only 11 wins over the past two seasons.

Fortunately, there’s reason for optimism. The Broncos got some solid production from their 2018 draft class, including defensive end Bradley Chubb, wideout Courtland Sutton, and running back Royce Freeman. The front office loaded up in talent once again during the 2019 draft, and they also added a number of veterans with the hope of making the postseason.

SI.com’s Albert Breer recently sat down with general manager and president of football operations John Elway to discuss his future in the NFL, his team-building philosophy, and his team’s chances in 2019. The whole article is worth reading, but we’ve pulled out some of the notable soundbites below:

On whether he’s thought about retiring:

“You know, I haven’t. I’ve got two and a half years left on my contract, I’m getting close to 60, which is hard to believe. At that point in time, you start to kind of look at it day-to-day and week-to-week. I’m still enjoying what I’m doing. I want to be able to put a quality product on the field and compete for a championship. I think we’re headed in that direction. I’m excited about Vic [Fangio].

“So we’ll take it a year at a time and see how it goes.”

On the Broncos ability to mix young players with veterans:

“You’re building with youth, but also trying to be competitive in the year that you’re in. If you had the success that we had back in 2013, ’14, ’15, it’s hard to keep the whole band together—and then you lose the quarterback. Our goal is always to be competitive, and improve, and add youth to that too. That’s always the tough thing to do, while you try to get the right mentality that you better win football games.”

On the acquisition of quarterback Joe Flacco:

“That position is so important, not just in the player you have there, but also the confidence it adds to the rest of your team. And I think our players know, the young guys as well as the veterans, that [Flacco] has been in battles, he’s won a championship, and he know what it takes. So just the confidence that the rest of the team has in that position and the player that’s playing that position is extremely important.

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Broncos WR Romell Guerrier Retires

Another Broncos receiver is hanging up his cleats. Mike Klis of 9News.com reports that rookie wideout Romell Guerrier has decided to retire.

“This is something Romell has thought about since he ended OTAs,’’ said agent Sean Russi. “It’s something he’s discussed with his family. He’s seeking something in his degree background and he just wants to thank the Broncos for the opportunity.’’

Guerrier studied psychology (with a focus on underprivileged children) during his time at Florida Tech. The receiver reportedly told John Elway of the news on Friday morning.

The wideout had a breakout season in 2018 as a redshirt senior, hauling in 59 catches for 1,062 yards and 13 touchdowns. He went undrafted during April’s draft, but he quickly caught on with Denver, who handed him a $3,000 signing bonus. As with any undrafted free agent, Guerrier had an uphill battle to make the active roster, although the Broncos receiver depth is a bit shallow behind Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton.

Guerrier is the second Broncos receiver to retire this week, as Aaron Burbridge decided to call it a career on Wednesday.

Emmanuel Sanders A Full Go In 2-3 Weeks?

Emmanuel Sanders avoided the physically unable to perform list and participated in individual work during Broncos practice on Wednesday, and the veteran wideout is likely to be a “full go” within two-to-three weeks, tweets James Palmer of NFL.com. Now 32 years old, Sanders tore his Achilles in a December practice and missed the remainder of the season. Recent reports have indicated he may not be ready for Week 1, but if he’s ready for full practice sessions by mid-August, his availability for the start of the regular season wouldn’t seem to be in question. Sanders will be the most experienced member of a Denver pass-catching unit that also includes Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton.

Broncos To Re-Sign RB David Williams

The Broncos are re-signing running back David Williams and waiving offensive lineman Nathan Jacobson, per Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Denver selected Williams in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. Mike Klis of 9News first reported the Broncos were likely to re-sign Williams (Twitter link).

Williams was waived by the Broncos at last year’s final cutdowns, but subsequently spent time on Denver’s practice squad before joining the Jaguars’ 53-man roster in October. The Arkansas product appeared in six games and played 19 offensive snaps, rushing eight times for 36 yards.

Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay is expected to be ready for training camp while recovering from a wrist injury he suffered near the end of last season. The 2018 undrafted free agent took the first rep at Denver’s camp today, per Klis (Twitter link). The Broncos’ other running backs include 2018 third-rounder Royce Freeman, Devontae Booker, Khalfani Muhammad, and Devontae Jackson.

Broncos LB Todd Davis Partially Tears Calf Muscle

Broncos linebacker Todd Davis suffered a partially torn calf muscle at practice today and is expected to miss three-to-four weeks, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic (Twitter link).

If Davis sticks to that timeline, he won’t be in danger of missing any regular season action. However, he’s likely to miss all of training camp and at least some of the preseason, which could put him behind the eight ball for the regular season. In the meantime, backups like Keishawn BierriaAlexander Johnson or Joseph Jones could see more action alongside starter Josey Jewell.

A former undrafted free agent, Davis began his career in Denver as a special-teamer but became a starter at inside linebacker when Danny Trevathan left via free agency in 2016. Over the past three years, Davis has started 45 games and played at least 500 defensive snaps in each season. In 2018, the 27-year-old played a career-high 842 snaps and graded as the league’s No. 25 linebacker among 92 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

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Broncos’ Drew Lock On Contract Talks

On Wednesday, the Broncos finally hammered out a contract with draft pick Drew Lock. Lock, the No. 42 overall pick in the draft, reportedly wanted a “quarterback premium” to give him a higher salary than his slot. On Thursday, Lock addressed that and more with reporters (quotes via Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic, on Twitter): 

Any anxiety about possibly missing time during his contract negotiations?

I was anxious to get out on the field, but I knew we were trying to get things worked out. The Broncos and my agency were working together, but I told my agency beforehand, if it got to the point where I was missing practice, then there was no chance we were going to go on with it. I was going to sign a deal and I was going to get here, because the most important thing to me was getting out here. If I missed the conditioning test, which I made up after practice…that was OK because I was able to make it up. But, missing anything else is just not who I am.”

Did you know what a [quarterback premium] was?

I’m sure [agents Tom Condon and Jimmy Sexton] all have a really good idea of what a quarterback premium is. I’m not 100% sure what a quarterback premium is. I know that’s what they were talking about. For me, to get to the point where it was time for me to come practice, I guess in my head the quarterback premium I didn’t know much about was going to get thrown out the window, because I needed to be out here.”

(Note: Lock received workout bonuses in the third and fourth years of his deal, which the Broncos haven’t done in six years, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com noted on Twitter. Dalton Risner, taken with the No. 41 overall pick, also secured these bonuses.)

Did you push to get the deal done so that you wouldn’t be behind?

100%. I didn’t necessarily want to get behind in anything…There was no ounce of me that didn’t want to be out here on this football field, taking every rep that I was supposed to take, and being with the guys every second that I could be today and the rest of training camp.”

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Broncos Sign WR Steven Dunbar Jr.

The Broncos have signed wide receiver Steven Dunbar Jr., according to an announcement from the team. Dunbar takes the spot of Aaron Burbridge, who retired just before the start of training camp

[RELATED: Broncos, Drew Lock Agree To Deal]

Dunbar signed with the Niners last year after going undrafted out of the University of Houston. He spent the bulk of the year on the practice squad, but was promoted to the varsity squad for the final game of the 2018 season.

Dunbar may be facing an uphill climb on a WR depth chart that also includes Courtland Sutton, Emmanuel SandersDaeSean Hamilton, River Cracraft, Tim Patrick, and fifth-rounder Juwann Winfree. Still, Dunbar may have one advantage as an ex-49er who has familiarity with Rich Scangarello‘s system.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.