The Broncos will feature one of the more traditional practice squads, at least to start the season. No big-name veterans appear on Denver’s initial practice squad. Instead, a host of developmental players populate the unit.
However, veteran cornerback De’Vante Bausby — who was one of Denver’s final cuts Saturday — will stick with the team as part of this 15-man practice squad. The Broncos acquired Bausby after his stint in the Alliance of American Football in 2019. He played in five Broncos games last season, after previously seeing spot work with the Bears and Eagles in 2016 and ’18, but wound up on IR for much of the slate.
Joining the four-year veteran will be ex-UDFA Brett Rypien, who resided on Denver’s practice squad last season. Here is the Broncos’ full list:
The Broncos parted ways with 24 players to trim their roster to the 53-man regular-season limit. Here are the players the team cut to get to 53.
- T Quinn Bailey
- RB LeVante Bellamy
- WR Trinity Benson
- WR Fred Brown
- LB Malik Carney
- S Douglas Coleman
- RB Jeremy Cox
- TE Troy Fumagalli
- WR Kendall Hinton
- S Alijah Holder
- LB Justin Hollins
- OL Tyler Jones
- S P.J. Locke
- C Pat Morris
- T Darrin Paulo
- T Jake Rodgers
- QB Brett Rypien
- LB Derrek Tuszka
- LB Josh Watson
- T Hunter Watts
- WR Cody White
- DL DeShawn Williams
- WR Juwann Winfree
Placed on IR:
- TE Austin Fort
The Rypien cut will leave the Broncos with two active-roster QBs — Drew Lock and Jeff Driskel — while the Fumagalli and Fort decisions mean Jake Butt made Denver’s active roster. Viewed as a long shot to do so after the team made multiple tight end additions this offseason, Butt made it through camp healthy to start his contract year. The former Michigan standout has suffered three ACL tears in his career.
Denver drafting three wideouts made matters difficult for their lesser-known holdovers, but Winfree — a 2019 sixth-rounder — profiles as a practice squad candidate. The Broncos will carry rookie seventh-rounder Tyrie Cleveland onto their active roster.
Bausby has bounced around the league for several years now, and the former Division II standout joined Mike Purcell in vaulting from the Alliance of American Football to a Broncos role last year. But the team kept UDFA Essang Bassey over Bausby this year.
A year after trading the other half of their Super Bowl 50 starting receiver tandem, the Broncos dealt Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers. The interest in Sanders had escalated to the point five teams were in on him, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic notes (subscription required). John Elway hinted at a Sanders-related event occurring between the Titans and Chiefs games, with Jhabvala adding it didn’t sit well with the GM. Sanders also wanted to be traded, per Jhabvala, and expressed that desire in a meeting with Elway and Vic Fangio last week.
This Broncos return — third- and fourth-round picks — is considerably better than the one they fetched for Demaryius Thomas, whom the Texans acquired for a fourth-rounder last October. Sanders had grown into Denver’s top wideout last season and rehabbed an Achilles tear to the point he was a key factor in this Broncos offense. But over the past three games, the 32-year-old took a backseat to Courtland Sutton and had caught just seven passes for 69 yards. The Broncos now have seven picks in the first four rounds of the 2020 draft.
Here is the latest from the Broncos, who may not be done selling.
- Interest has naturally developed for Chris Harris, but the teams that were interested added other corners in recent days, per Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). The Texans pursued Harris but instead acquired Gareon Conley from the Raiders for a third-rounder, pointing to the Broncos setting a higher asking price for their four-time Pro Bowler. With Wade Phillips running the Rams’ defense, it’s likely they were interested in reuniting Harris and Aqib Talib. They bet bigger on Jalen Ramsey instead. Harris will obviously be a name to watch before the Oct. 29 trade deadline.
- The contract-year corner is expected to test the market next year, after he and the Broncos could not come to terms on an extension this offseason. But Harris said he has not approached Elway about a deal now and still wants to finish his career with the Broncos, per Jhabvala (Twitter links). The Broncos do not have an obvious replacement for Harris like they did with Sanders (DaeSean Hamilton), so a trade there would stand to limit the 2019 team more.
- An interesting piece of the Broncos’ IR equation will take shape as a result of the Sanders trade. Elway said Tim Patrick will be one of the team’s IR-return players. Patrick, an auxiliary wideout for last season’s Denver team, cannot return until Week 11. With Drew Lock having returned to practice, this points to the Broncos’ two spots being spoken for. That would leave Theo Riddick and Jake Butt in line to miss the season. The Broncos signed Riddick for one year and $2.5MM.
- Being without safety starter Will Parks, the Broncos auditioned veterans Marcus Gilchrist and Kentrell Brice, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Gilchrist spent last season with the Raiders and was a Charger from 2011-14. Brice started 10 games for the Packers last season and spent time with the Buccaneers earlier this year. Denver also worked out defensive linemen DeShawn Williams and Joel Heath.
The Denver Broncos made a slew of moves today to get down to 53 players. Notably, the team will place rookie second-round quarterback Drew Lock on injured reserve, meaning he’ll have to miss at least the first eight games of the season as he recovers from his thumb injury. The team cut journeyman Kevin Hogan and UDFA Brett Rypien, leaving them without a quarterback behind Joe Flacco. GM John Elway has said they’ll sign a veteran to backup Flacco for now, and we’ve already heard they’re interested in Brian Hoyer.
There weren’t too many surprises that we didn’t already know of. Brendan Langley, a 2017 third-round pick, failed to make the team. He was drafted as a cornerback, but switched to receiver earlier this offseason after he didn’t pan out on defense.
Here’s the full list of other moves:
FB George Aston
T Quinn Bailey
WR Trinity Benson
OL Jake Brendel
WR Fred Brown
LB Jamal Carter
WR Steven Dunbar Jr.
OLB Ahmad Gooden
RB Devontae Jackson
CB Trey Johnson
G/C Sam Jones
OL Tyler Jones
T John Leglue
DL Deyon Sizer
CB Linden Stephens
We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:
- Signed: QB Jalan McClendon, G Patrick Vahe
- Signed: S Abraham Wallace, OL Garrett McGhin, DT Quindarius Thagard
- Released: TE Jake Fisher, RB Keith Ford
- Bears Signed: WR Jesper Horsted
- Waived: G Tommy Doles
- Signed: TE Bug Howard, OL Nathan Jacobson, DL Deyon Sizer, DL DeShawn Williams
- Released: TE Temarrick Hemingway, DL Caushaud Lyons, OL Brian Wallace, DL Jaylen Johnson
New York Giants
- Re-Signed: DL John Jenkins
- Waived: RB Nico Evans, QB Luis Perez
The Colts have signed running back Spencer Ware, according to a team announcement. Ware, the former Chiefs tailback, will give the Colts support at the position after they declined to address it in the draft.
Ware, 28 in November, first made noise in 2015 when he ran for 403 yards with the Chiefs and averaged 5.6 yards per carry in a limited sample. In 2016, he was the Chiefs’ starter and amassed 921 yards with a 4.3 yards-per-tote average. His usage fluctuated over the course of three healthy years in KC, but his career 4.6 YPC shows promise.
The veteran joins former Chiefs teammate Justin Houston in Indianapolis and will push to be a top reserve behind Marlon Mack. 2018 draft picks Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines are also under contract, so he’ll have his work cut out for him.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
After being eliminated from the playoffs, the Colts have made a handful of moves with an eye toward 2019. They signed nine players to reserve/futures contracts today, the team announced on Twitter. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2019 league year, with players joining the team’s offseason 90-man roster:
- TE Billy Brown
- CB Jalen Collins
- T Antonio Garcia
- WR Krishawn Hogan
- WR Steve Ishmael
- QB Phillip Walker
- T De’Ondre Wesley
- DT DeShawn Williams
- LB Anthony Winbush
The most notable name of the bunch is cornerback Jalen Collins. Collins was a highly regarded 2015 second round pick of the Falcons, but his career flamed out due to a series of off-field issues that led to four suspensions. He was released by the Falcons in late 2017, and signed to the Colts’ practice squad this past November. If he can get everything sorted out, it could prove to be a great pickup for Indianapolis. Walker is the former Temple quarterback who has been on Indy’s practice squad the past couple of seasons.
Today’s practice squad updates:
- Signed: OL Justin Evans
- Signed: G Oni Omoile
- Signed: WR C.J. Board
New Orleans Saints
- Signed: WR Martez Carter
New York Giants
- Signed: DL Woodrow Hamilton
- Signed: OL Roubbens Joseph
- Placed on injured list: OL Casey Dunn
Here’s the latest from the NFL’s workout circuit, all links going to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account (unless otherwise noted). The first day teams can sign players to reserve/futures contracts is New Year’s Eve.
- WR Shay Fields, LB Chris Frey, CB Kameron Kelly, LB Hau’oli Kikaha, CB Trevon Mathis, QB Bo Levi Mitchell (CFL tryout), DL Henry Mondeaux, LB Tegray Scales, LB Robert Spillane, WR Greg Ward (Twitter links)
- DT Joshua Frazier, DT Greg Gilmore, DE Alec James, T Jarron Jones, LB Jacob Pugh, DT Elijah Qualls, DE Jonathan Wynn (link)
Green Bay Packers
- DB Tevaughn Campbell (link)
- WR C.J. Board, LB Farrington Huguenin, DE Alec James, TE Marcus Lucas, TE Troy Mangen, WR Jordan Veasy, LB Antwione Williams (link)
Los Angeles Rams
- LB Sam Eguavoen (CFL tryout) (link)
New York Jets
- LB Zaire Anderson, LB Kwaku Boateng (CFL tryout), RB Joel Bouagnon, RB Mack Brown, RB Martez Carter, LB Jonathan Celestin, LB Avery Ellis (CFL tryout), LB Manase Hungalu, K Ty Long (CFL tryout), T Ryker Mathews (CFL tryout), WR Bryant Mitchell (CFL tryout), RB Akrum Wadley, WR D’haquille Williams (CFL tryout) (link)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers