Alex Palczewski

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/20/23

Wednesday’s minor transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

  • Designated to return from IR:¬†OL Alex Palczewski

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Broncos Move CB K’Waun Williams To IR; CB Fabian Moreau, DT Mike Purcell Re-Sign

Three Broncos are moving to IR. While it remains to be seen how the team will use its eight allotted activations this season, three options became available Thursday.

Cornerback K’Waun Williams, safety P.J. Locke and tackle Alex Palczewski landed on IR. Each must miss at least four games. To replace them on the 53-man roster, Denver brought back longtime nose tackle Mike Purcell, cornerback Fabian Moreau and tackle Quinn Bailey. Each was on the radar to return, and the Broncos are not deviating from their cutdown-day play.

Purcell agreed to be released to help the Broncos manage their roster. He has joined several veterans in yo-yoing off and then back onto an active roster this week. A regular Broncos contributor since he made the jump from the Alliance of American Football to the NFL in 2019, Purcell was also released and then re-signed ahead of last season. Purcell, 32, will again be expected to be a regular on Denver’s defensive line.

An ankle injury, which will require surgery, will lead to Williams’ IR placement. The longtime 49ers slot corner is going into the second season of a two-year, $5.2MM Broncos deal. Essang Bassey, who intercepted three passes during the preseason, may well be called upon to line up alongside Patrick Surtain and Damarri Mathis in nickel sets to start the season.

Moreau, however, will supply depth for the AFC West team. Moreau spent last season with the Giants, coming over after the Texans released him after the preseason. The Broncos signed the former Washington third-round pick earlier this month.

Bailey has been with the Broncos since 2019, working as a backup. Denver’s injury troubles at tackle last season led to Bailey starting his first career game. The team has Cameron Fleming in place as its swing tackle — behind starters Garett Bolles and Mike McGlinchey — but Bailey is back on the roster to provide additional depth.

Broncos Sign 15 Undrafted Free Agents

As more teams’ rookie minicamps commence, UDFA classes are emerging. The Broncos brought in 15 post-draft free agents. Here is how Denver’s group looks:

  • TE Nate Adkins (South Carolina)
  • ILB Seth Benson (Iowa)
  • G Henry Boyd (Princeton)
  • WR Dallas Daniels (Jackson State)
  • CB Darrious Gaines (Western Colorado)
  • CB Art Green (Houston)
  • WR Taylor Grimes (Incarnate Word)
  • OLB Marcus Haynes (Old Dominion)
  • OLB Thomas Incoom (Central Michigan)
  • T Demontrey Jacobs (South Florida)
  • TE Kris Leach (Kent State)
  • RB Jaleel McLaughlin (Youngstown State)
  • DT P.J. Mustipher (Penn State)
  • T Alex Palczewski (Illinois)
  • RB Emanuel Wilson (Fort Valley State)

Green received a nice $180K salary guarantee to sign, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. The 6-foot-2 cover man earned second-team All-American Athletic Conference acclaim last season and finished his career with a Most Valuable Defender honor in the Independence Bowl. The Broncos have seen a number of UDFAs make significant impacts for their team over the past several years, from Chris Harris to Shaq Barrett to Phillip Lindsay. Green’s guarantee suggests he is a good bet to challenge for a 53-man roster spot.

Palczewski received $80K to sign, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. He will join the Broncos with more starter experience than just about any college player has accumulated in the sport’s history, having made a Big Ten-record 65 starts for the Fighting Illini. The additional eligibility year the NCAA granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic boosted this total, but Palczewski received All-American acclaim from several publications last season. He spent six years in college and, while logging nearly 20 starts at guard — some of which as a true freshman back in 2017 — worked as Illinois’ primary right tackle over the past several years.

Grimes finished his college career with back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons, while Incoom totaled 11.5 sacks as a senior. McLaughlin finished his career with consecutive 1,100-plus-yard rushing seasons at Youngstown State, while Wilson totaled 1,371 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns in 2022. The Broncos signed Samaje Perine but have a fairly unclear backfield pecking order, given the uncertainty surrounding starter Javonte Williams‘ return from an October ACL tear.