The Broncos are removing one of the players from a crowded tight end competition early. They are taking the most experienced of these performers out of the mix, with Mike Klis of 9News tweeting the team will release Jeff Heuerman.
A Bronco since their 2015 Super Bowl championship season, Heuerman was drafted during the Gary Kubiak regime. He stayed on through Vic Fangio‘s first season, but the Broncos made multiple additions to their tight end room this offseason. That will end a five-plus-year stay for the former third-round pick.
Denver signed Nick Vannett in free agency and drafted former Drew Lock Mizzou teammate Albert Okwuegbunam in Round 4. They join 2019 first-round pick Noah Fant, Jake Butt, Troy Fumagalli and Austin Fort on the Broncos’ roster.
Heuerman did not quite live up to expectations, with injuries limiting the Ohio State product. Heuerman missed his entire rookie season. The Broncos re-signed him to a two-year deal in 2018, but he ended that year on IR. The 27-year-old tight end was set to make $3MM this season. With this cut, the Broncos will save $3.875MM.
For his career, Heuerman has 63 receptions for 678 yards and five touchdowns. He started 11 games last season and played a career-high 52% of Denver’s snaps in 2018, before going down with lung and rib injuries. But Fant’s role is expected to grow in 2020, and the Vannett and Okwuegbunam additions likely leave room for either zero or one of the non-Fant holdovers on this year’s roster.