Albert Okwuegbunam

Eagles Re-Sign TE Albert Okwuegbunam

Albert O. is staying in Philadelphia. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, tight end Albert Okwuegbunam has signed a one-year deal to stick with the Eagles. The 25-year-old was set to hit unrestricted free agency next month.

Following three seasons in Denver, Okwuegbunam was facing waivers at the end of the 2023 preseason. The Eagles swooped in and added him via trade, acquiring the tight end and a seventh-round pick for a sixth-round selection.

Despite the trade, Okwuegbunam barely came off the bench this past season, even with starter Dallas Goedert sidelined. He was limited to only four games in 2023, finishing the year fourth among Eagles tight ends in offensive snaps (behind Goedert, Jack Stoll, and Grant Calcaterra). The Eagles still valued Okwuegbunam enough to give him a chance at a 2024 roster spot, and the veteran could provide the organization with a bit of insurance with Stoll hitting restricted free agency.

Following a productive college career at Missouri, Okwuegbunam was a fourth-round pick by the Broncos in 2020. He was limited to only four games as a rookie thanks to a torn ACL, but he earned a significant offensive role during his second season. He finished the 2021 campaign with 33 catches for 330 yards and two touchdowns, starting six of his 14 appearances. With rookie Greg Dulcich added to the depth chart in 2022, Okwuegbunam saw a lesser role, finishing with only 10 catches for 95 yards.

Pro Football Focus gave Okwuegbunam solid reviews through his first two seasons in the NFL, but the website hasn’t been as favorable on his 2022 and 2023 performances. If the tight end is able to rediscover any of that previous talent, he could find himself with a larger role in 2024.

Eagles To Acquire TE Albert Okwuegbunam From Broncos

Although the Broncos were planning to waive Albert Okwuegbunam, they found a trade partner at the 11th hour. The Eagles will acquire the fourth-year tight end, Adam Schefter of tweets.

Minutes before the deadline for teams to set their initial 53-man rosters, Philadelphia and Denver agreed on a swap that will send Okwuegbunam east in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round pick.

Okwuegbunam, 25, had fallen out of favor in Denver. The former fourth-round pick had shown some promise during Pat Shurmur’s OC tenure and appeared poised to take on a bigger role once the Broncos included Noah Fant in last year’s Russell Wilson trade. That did not end up happening, with Nathaniel Hackett’s staff making Okwuegbunam a healthy scratch at points last season.

The Broncos dangled Okwuegbunam in trades before last year’s deadline, and while the frequent seller team made a big-ticket move (the Bradley Chubb swap) and acquired Jacob Martin from the Jets, “Albert O” stayed put. He finished last season with 10 receptions for 95 yards. The Mizzou alum topped that in his final preseason game this year, totaling 109 receiving yards in what amounted to a showcase effort by the Broncos.

Going from Shurmur’s offense to Hackett’s to Sean Payton’s, Okwuegbunam will now be tasked with learning a fourth system (Nick Sirianni’s) in Philly. The Broncos had added Adam Trautman and Chris Manhertz at tight end this offseason; both had played for Payton in New Orleans. Greg Dulcich quickly overtook Okwuegbunam as the top pass-catching option at the position last year, and the 2022 third-rounder remains as such in Payton’s system. Though, Trautman — acquired via draft-weekend trade — has worked as the Broncos’ starter.

He of a sub-4.5-second 40-yard dash clocking at the 2020 Combine, Okwuegbunam did produce a 330-yard, two-touchdown season in 2021. The former Drew Lock college target did not exceed 450 yards in a season with the SEC program, though he did score an eye-catching 23 touchdowns in three Columbia seasons.

Okwuegbunam will join a tight end group fronted by starter Dallas Goedert and backups Jack Stoll and Grant Calcaterra. The two reserves combined for 16 receptions last season, opening a door for a receiving complement to Goedert. Considering how the past two seasons have gone for Okwuegbunam, he may be set for another uphill battle. But an Eagles team without many weaknesses will take a flier on an athletic pass catcher.

Broncos To Release DT Tyler Lancaster, Waive TE Albert Okwuegbunam

Although Broncos defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike was among the players to be suspended for gambling this year, the team will part ways with one of its veterans at the position.

The Broncos are releasing Tyler Lancaster, the Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson tweets. A former Packers regular, Lancaster had signed with the Broncos this offseason. The Broncos are also cutting fourth-year tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, 9News’ Mike Klis tweets.

Denver recently moved Mike Purcell off its active/NFI list, putting the veteran nose tackle in play to return in Week 1. The Broncos also have 2022 sixth-round pick Matt Henningsen in place, along with veteran Jonathan Harris, who has quietly served as a depth piece for the team since Vic Fangio’s first HC season (2019). D.J. Jones and free agent pickup Zach Allen lead the way on the Broncos’ defensive front.

Lancaster started 21 games for the Packers from 2018-21. After signing with the Raiders in 2022, Lancaster suffered an injury during training camp and landed on Las Vegas’ IR list. An injury settlement moved the 28-year-old defender back into free agency, but he did not end up playing last season.

Uwazurike received an indefinite suspension for betting on NFL games, including Broncos contests. It would not surprise if Denver looked into D-line help before setting its Week 1 roster, but for now, the Henningsen-Harris-Purcell contingent represents the role players in this position group.

Okwuegbunam came up in trade rumors ahead of the 2022 deadline. The former fourth-round pick had fallen out of favor with Nathaniel Hackett’s staff. Although Okwuegbunam totaled 109 receiving yards in the Broncos’ final preseason game, they are moving him to the waiver wire.

One of Sean Payton’s former Saints charges, Adam Trautman, is now the Broncos’ starting tight end. The team acquired him in a draft-weekend trade. The team used a third-round pick on Greg Dulcich last year, and Chris Manhertz is onboard as a blocking piece at the position. Okwuegbunam blazed to a sub-4.5-second 40-yard dash at the 2020 Combine but has been unable to put it together as a pro. The Mizzou product totaled 330 receiving yards in 2021, bouncing back from a rookie-year ACL tear. Playing in a third offensive system in four seasons, Okwuegbunam could not make a good enough case for Denver’s roster. It should be expected the athletic tight end will generate waiver interest before Wednesday’s deadline.

Eagles Activate CB Avonte Maddox From IR

Out since Week 9, Avonte Maddox is on his way back for the Eagles. The NFC-leading team designated the fifth-year cornerback for return from IR on Wednesday.

Maddox sustained an ankle injury against the Texans last month but now has a three-week span to return to the Eagles’ 53-man roster. After activating defensive end Janarius Robinson on Tuesday, the Eagles have four injury activations remaining. Robert Quinn stands to account for one of those; Maddox is on track to claim another spot.

Tied to a three-year, $22.5MM contract agreed to in November 2021, Maddox is now the Eagles’ longest-tenured defensive back. Drafted in the fourth round by a Super Bowl-winning team with an experienced secondary, Maddox carved out a role for himself over the course of his rookie contract and now joins Darius Slay and James Bradberry as corners tied to veteran deals. Those pacts pair with C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps‘ rookie accords.

Maddox, 26, returning this week would mean he would rejoin the league’s No. 1-ranked pass defense. While the Eagles have gotten by against the pass without the 26-year-old slot patroller, his return will benefit the 12-1 team. Pro Football Focus graded Maddox’s early-season work well, placing him just inside the top 40 at corner. In six games this season, Maddox was seeing action at a career-high rate. He logged 81% of the snaps during the six games he played this season. Maddox has been a constant for the Eagles since debuting, having played between 65% and 75% of Philly’s defensive snaps from 2018-21.

Broncos Mandating First-Round Pick For Bradley Chubb?

Multiple reports have connected the Broncos to a trade involving a first-round pick for Bradley Chubb, in the event they end up dealing the fifth-year edge rusher. The Broncos may now be insistent on a first-rounder coming back.

Denver is setting a first-rounder as the Chubb starting point, according to’s Armando Salguero, who adds the team is telling teams it must offer a first and then some to pry Chubb away. The former Von Miller sidekick is in a contract year, like Miller was in 2022. While expectations were higher for the 2022 Broncos compared to 2021, they are 3-5 ahead of Tuesday’s deadline and again in position to make a seller’s trade.

The first-round price comes in north of what a report last week indicated Chubb would likely cost. A second- and third-round package, which Miller fetched last year, was viewed as the likeliest Chubb price. But the Dolphins and Jets have since been linked to the former No. 5 overall pick. The AFC East teams, who are each gunning for playoff spots for the first time in years, have been linked to being interested to the point a first-rounder would be exchanged. A Sunday-morning report also indicated the Broncos have received an offer including a first-rounder for Chubb, putting the team to a big-picture decision.

[RELATED: Giants Interested In Jerry Jeudy]

The Broncos have gauged the cost of a Chubb extension, according to Albert Breer of, but no talks of a new deal are believed to have taken place. Chubb, 26, has expressed a desire to stay in Denver beyond 2022, but he said from London he has not made bye-week plans due to the Broncos’ trade talks. Although injuries have depleted the 2022 Broncos’ outside linebacker depth, they have Randy Gregory, Baron Browning and second-round rookie Nik Bonitto signed long term.

No edge defender has garnered a first-rounder via trade since the Chiefs acquired Frank Clark from the Seahawks in April 2019. That move came with Clark on a franchise tag and before he had made a Pro Bowl. Chubb earned such a nod in 2020 and has a 12-sack season (as a rookie in 2018) on his resume. This would be a steep price to pay for a rental, but an acquiring team would have exclusive Chubb negotiating rights until March 2023. A 2023 tag — surely a Broncos consideration as well — would be in an acquiring team’s back pocket.

Chubb’s age compared to Miller’s likely has led to a first-rounder being in the equation. The Broncos also can use the John Elway-era draftee to recoup draft capital they lost in the Russell Wilson trade. The Wilson trade leaves Denver without 2023 first- or second-round picks, and the quarterback’s $49MM-per-year extension will make high-end investments elsewhere on the roster more difficult. Gregory is signed to a $14MM-per-year deal, while Browning and Bonitto are on rookie pacts. Chubb would be expected to sign for well north of $20MM per annum.

Still, the Broncos have not committed to dealing Chubb, per Salguero, who notes such a move would be a clear sign the team is punting on 2022. The prospect of other teams’ offers falling short of the Broncos’ asking price also looms. It would then be interesting to see if the Broncos would accept a lesser haul to bolster its 2023 draft arsenal or just ride it out with Chubb and reassess the situation ahead of the 2023 league year.

The team is not expected to part with Jerry Jeudy or K.J. Hamler, who are each under contract in 2023. But a Jeudy trade is not completely off the table, per CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones, who adds tight end Albert Okwuegbunam is carrying next to no trade value. The Broncos have buried Okwuegbunam on their depth chart in recent weeks and would likely accept just about any draft capital to move him.

Chiefs, Rams Expected To Pursue Pass Rushing Help

The Chiefs and Rams are involved in the Brandin Cooks market, and both clubs are also seeking upgrades to their pass rushing contingent. Per Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, Kansas City and Los Angeles would like to add a pass rusher prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline.

The most notable pass rusher that has the best chance of being moved within the next several days appears to be Denver’s Bradley Chubb. Indeed, Adam Schefter of classifies the 2-5 Broncos as the most likely team to make a trade, and he further reports that one club has offered Denver a package headlined by a first-round pick in exchange for Chubb. Even though two of Chubb’s first four professional seasons were marred by injury, his fifth season has proven that, when healthy, he is one of the game’s better edge defenders. Through seven games in 2022, he has posted 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

As Jones points out, Denver would almost certainly not trade Chubb to the division-rival Chiefs, though the Rams would be a viable trade partner. LA, however, lacks a 2023 first-round pick due to last year’s Matthew Stafford trade, so it remains to be seen if it would be able to present Broncos GM George Paton with a winning offer. Jones says the Rams, as is their custom, are willing to trade future first-rounders.

Since Chubb is in the final year of his rookie contract, any acquiring club would want to work out a contract extension with him, according to Schefter. Of course, if Paton holds onto Chubb, he would want to come to terms on a multi-year pact as well (as Parker Gabriel of the Denver Post writes, Chubb is amenable to a contract that keeps him in the Mile High City for the long haul). Regardless of where he ends up, Chubb’s next deal is expected to pay him more than $20MM on an annual basis.

Other pass rushers that could be available for the Chiefs and Rams include players like the Panthers’ Brian Burns and the Jaguars’ Josh Allen. Jones echoes recent reports that Carolina seems unwilling to move Burns, and the trio of Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero, and Mike Garafolo report that Jacksonville wants to retain Allen, whom it views as a foundational piece.

While Chubb could be dealt, Schefter says the Broncos do not plan to trade wideouts Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, meanwhile, is still likely to be traded, per Troy Renck of Denver 7 (via Twitter). The asking price on Okwuegbunam is “minimal.”

Broncos Not Looking To Trade Jerry Jeudy

Denver’s hire of Nathaniel Hackett and blockbuster Russell Wilson trade has not led to offensive improvement. The Broncos have run into consistent issues, particularly in second halves, offensively and rank last in scoring through six games. This has invited numerous questions about the team’s plan and produced speculation about the future of Hackett and certain players.

One of those players is Jerry Jeudy, who would be an attractive trade piece for teams seeking to upgrade their wide receiver talent level. Jeudy has not clicked with Wilson, and while he has struggled with drops, the former first-round pick is viewed as a plus route runner. A trade should not be considered out of the question, but Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets the Broncos are not looking to move Jeudy.

Wilson has shown more chemistry with Courtland Sutton (team-high 431 receiving yards) early in his Colorado tenure. Jeudy’s 290 yards, however, are easily the second-most on the team — one battling myriad issues on offense. Sutton signed a $15MM-per-year extension midway through last season and is signed through 2025. Jeudy can be controlled through 2024, via the fifth-year option, but remains tied to his rookie contract.

Beyond this season’s batch of Broncos oddities, Jeudy has not justified his draft slot yet nearly 2 1/2 seasons into his career. Chosen 15th overall in 2020, the Alabama product came off the board behind only ex-Crimson Tide teammate Henry Ruggs among receivers. Selected soon after: CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson. Jeudy led the 2020 Broncos in receiving (856 yards), but the high ankle sprain he sustained in September 2021 led to a disappointing sophomore effort (467 yards, no touchdowns). But the 6-foot-1 pass catcher entered this season firmly entrenched as a cornerstone skill player.

Jeudy’s presence figures to be more important during the rest of this season and in 2023, as he undoubtedly was part of the reason Wilson waived his no-trade clause to be moved to Denver. The Broncos’ hopes of offensive improvement also will require more from Jeudy, with Tim Patrick lost for the season after a training camp ACL tear. But this situation could be one to monitor ahead of the Nov. 1 trade deadline.

The Broncos should be considered likely to move on from Albert Okwuegbunam, however, with Renck adding he would be surprised if the third-year tight end was still on the team after the deadline. Teams have called about the former fourth-round pick’s availability. Okwuegbunam’s blocking has not come around to the Broncos’ liking, and he was a healthy scratch Monday night. Denver drafted UCLA’s Greg Dulcich in Round 3 this year and has used lower-profile tight ends over Okwuegbunam in recent weeks.

Broncos TE Albert Okwuegbunam Drawing Trade Interest

As the Broncos go through a rocky navigation in Nathaniel Hackett‘s offense, they have used all their tight ends at various points this season. But the player viewed as the team’s top tight end coming into the season has fallen out of favor.

Denver made Albert Okwuegbunam a healthy scratch Monday night. That decision came after the third-year pass catcher played just 16 offensive snaps over the previous two weeks. Teams are looking into this situation, and Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 reports (via Twitter) Okwuegbunam has drawn trade interest. The Broncos have gotten calls about their tight end depth in general, Jeremy Fowler of notes, but Okwuegbunam is viewed as the main interest driver for teams.

This year’s Russell Wilson trade changed the Broncos’ tight end situation as well. The team included three-year starter Noah Fant in its compensation package. A month later, the Broncos selected Greg Dulcich in the third round. Dulcich missed the team’s first five games due to injury but returned against the Chargers, catching a first-quarter touchdown pass. Denver also extended fullback/tight end Andrew Beck, re-signed Eric Saubert and added Eric Tomlinson this offseason. All three have seen extensive time this season, with Beck and Tomlinson playing ahead of Okwuegbunam in Week 6.

A fourth-round pick out of Missouri in 2020, Okwuegbunam entered the NFL with chemistry with the Broncos’ then-starting quarterback (Drew Lock, also a Mizzou product). Despite an ACL tear that ended his rookie season after four games, Okwuegbunam made a marginal impact last season (33 catches, 330 yards, two touchdowns). Failure to sufficiently improve as a blocker has impacted the third-year pass catcher’s stock.

Okwuegbunam’s athletic profile likely intrigues teams. The 6-foot-5 tight end clocked a 4.49-second 40-yard dash time ahead of the 2020 draft. That came after he totaled 23 touchdown receptions during his three-year college career. His rookie contract runs through the 2023 season. With Dulcich positioned to become the Broncos’ top receiving tight end going forward, it would seem the team would explore the Okwuegbunam trade interest ahead of the Nov. 1 deadline.

Broncos Activate Justin Simmons, Greg Dulcich, Michael Ojemudia From IR

OCTOBER 17: Denver has now taken the lead in injury activations this season. The Broncos moved their number of available injured-list activations from eight to five Monday, moving Simmons, Dulcich and Ojemudia onto their 53-man roster. Simmons, in particular, stands to provide the biggest boost. The Broncos have used him as a safety starter for six seasons now and have him signed to a top-five contract at the position. Denver will also be without second-year safety Caden Sterns in Los Angeles.

Dulcich’s return will make Week 1 starter Albert Okwuegbunam a healthy scratch. The third-year tight end has not developed as a blocker in the way the Broncos have hoped, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets, and has seen lower-level investments cut into his playing time. He has seven catches for 50 yards this season and has played just 16 snaps over the past two games.

OCTOBER 11: The Broncos have not used one of their injured reserve activations yet; that will likely change soon. The injury-plagued team will have three performers return to practice this week.

Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons, third-round rookie tight end Greg Dulcich and third-year cornerback Michael Ojemudia will be designated for return ahead of Week 6, Nathaniel Hackett said Tuesday. Being back at practice Tuesday, as all three players were, starts each’s 21-day activation clock. For a Broncos team that lost two more starters to season-ending injuries recently (left tackle Garett Bolles and cornerback Ronald Darby), these additions should help its cause.

Simmons went down with a thigh injury during the Broncos’ season opener. Because four weeks have passed, he is eligible to return. Denver having its longest-tenured starter back when first eligible should be a boon for a defense that has continued to operate like one of the league’s best in the seven-year veteran’s absence.

[RELATED: How Damaging Has Broncos’ Start Been?]

This season marked Simmons’ first extended absence. Denver’s Seattle tilt represented his 66th straight start. The former third-round pick, who signed a $15.25MM-per-year extension after receiving his second franchise tag in 2o21, is in the second year of his once-safety-record contract. Simmons, 28, has intercepted 14 passes since 2019. His replacement, Caden Sterns, intercepted two against the Colts in Week 5; those picks were not enough to prevent a wildly panned Broncos overtime loss to the Colts.

Denver has used all four of its active-roster tight ends this season, incorporating each into offensive sets as the team transitions to Hackett’s attack. But Dulcich has been viewed as a possible starter. The Broncos used their second 2022 draft choice on the UCLA product, selecting him in Round 3. But a hamstring injury led to an IR trip to start the season.

Ojemudia, a 2020 third-round pick, was vying to be the Broncos’ top backup cornerback in training camp. After he missed most of 2021 with a hamstring malady, the John Elway-era draft choice suffered a dislocated elbow during a preseason game. The Iowa alum has not proven much as a pro yet, but Darby’s absence could lead to an opportunity. The Broncos have fourth-round rookie Damarri Mathis set to replace Darby, but Ojemudia — should the team end up activating him — could have a say in how Denver constructs its secondary going forward.

Denver Emerging As Premier QB Destination

We wrote a bit earlier today on the Broncos being among multiple AFC teams who “have trade compensation lined up with the Packers,” in relation to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Well, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Denver has emerged as a prime location for many of the league’s veteran quarterbacks looking for a potential change of scenery.

The Broncos recently hired former Packers’ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to replace Vic Fangio, who failed to accomplish a winning season in three years with the Broncos. The former Green Bay staffer represents an obvious and strong connection for Rodgers. Should Rodgers decide to move on from the Packers, having a play-caller that he’s familiar with could add some allure to the Mile High City. Another intriguing aspect that could bring a star quarterback to Denver is the addition of former Vikings’ offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak as passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Kubiak just helped Kirk Cousins turn in one of his best seasons in Minnesota.

Hackett and company inherit an impressive roster posed to perform. The defense is comprised of veterans like outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, safety Justin Simmons, defensive end Shelby Harris, and cornerback Ronald Darby. There are a number of free agents that Denver would like to bring back like cornerbacks Bryce Callahan & Kyle Fuller, defensive back Kareem Jackson, inside linebacker Josey Jewell, and outside linebacker Malik Reed. Even if they fail to bring some of those names back, the Broncos saw impressive seasons last year for youngsters like cornerback Patrick Surtain II, linebacker Baron Browning, defensive end Dre’Mont Jones, and safety Caden Sterns. The list of defensive players above may not overwhelm you with stardom, but, together, the Broncos defense ranked third in the league in points allowed and eighth in the league in yards allowed.

In addition to a brand new offense and stacked defense, Denver boasts a nice array of young offensive weapons. An impressive receiving corps is led by veteran 26-year-old Courtland Sutton, young star Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick, who has broken out a bit over the past two seasons. The Broncos also have two talented, young receiving tight ends in Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam. Any quarterback looking to join in on the fun would potentially have the benefit of a two-headed rushing attack that was 79 yards short of a combined 2,000-yard rushing season. Running back Javonte Williams enjoyed a healthy dose of carries in his rookie season, and there is mutual interest in bringing back Melvin Gordon.

Rodgers is obviously a name to keep an eye on as the decision on his future in Green Bay looms on the horizon. He has said that he will let the Packers know of his intentions before the franchise tag deadline so they can figure out how to deal with free agent wide receiver Davante Adams. In addition to Rodgers, though, keep an eye out for Denver to make moves on other quarterbacks searching for greener pastures. Russell Wilson has long been rumored to be interested in moving on from Seattle, and Deshaun Watson is still searching for a new home.

Whether Rodgers, Wilson, Watson, or some other under-the-radar name, look for the Broncos to make a move for a star quarterback. If they are able to find the right fit, the move could bring them into contention for what could easily turn into the toughest division in football.