The injuries continue to pile up in Denver where the Broncos have added pass rusher Randy Gregoryto their lengthy list of players on injured reserve. With the Broncos eliminated from postseason contention, the move brings Gregory’s first year in Denver to an end.
After failing to generate much of a pass rush in 2021, the Broncos ventured out into free agency to bring in Gregory after his initial extension with the Cowboys fell through due to a disagreement over language about bonuses being affected by fines or suspensions in the contract. Instead, the 30-year-old pass rusher signed a five-year, $70MM contract to join the Broncos. His first year in Denver would be a bit of a disappointment, though, as knee injuries would limit Gregory to only six games. Starting three of those games, Gregory was able to compile two sacks, two tackles for loss, seven quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles. Outside linebackers Bradley Chubb and Baron Browning held higher roles on the depth chart until Chubb was eventually traded to Miami.
Despite the disappointing debut in Mile High, Gregory will have next year to rebound and prove his worth to the Broncos. If similar absences due to injury or suspension continue into 2023, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to find Gregory as the subject of one of our posts detailing a potential salary cap casualty.
The Broncos also signed practice squad outside linebacker Jonathan Kongbo to the active roster today. Kongbo’s addition becomes even more crucial with Gregory on IR and Browning questionable this weekend with a back injury. Practice squad cornerback Lamar Jackson was also signed to the team’s active roster, providing depth as the team’s fifth corner.
Additionally, the Broncos promoted linebackers Wyatt Ray and Ray Wilborn from the practice squad as standard gameday elevations for Sunday’s matchup in Kansas City.
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s AFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
Some John Elway-era defensive lineman have been swapped out for George Paton acquisitions. Purcell, a three-season Broncos starter whom the team extended in 2020, is the most notable. But former third-round pick Agim joins the former Alliance of American Football success story in being moved off Denver’s roster. Agim heads to waivers; Purcell is a vested veteran.
After helping Denver stabilize its run defense upon arrival in 2019, Purcell missed half the 2020 season due to injury and missed time in 2021 as well. The Broncos added D.J. Jones in free agency and drafted two D-linemen — Eyioma Uwazurike(Round 4) and Matt Henningsen (Round 6) — this year.
Muti was seeing first-string action this offseason but was the underdog to beat out Quinn Meinerz at right guard. The former Fresno State-developed sixth-rounder also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery recently. Hinton, whom the Broncos turned to upon losing all their QBs to the reserve/COVID-19 list against the Saints in 2020, contributed as a receiver last season. The Broncos kept rookie UDFA wideout Jalen Virgilover Hinton. He could be back in Denver via the practice squad. The Broncos signed Tomlinson this offseason but also brought back Eric Saubert. The team draftedGreg Dulcichin the third round as well. Those two join Albert Okwuegbunam and Andrew Beck on the team’s 53-man roster.
A number of players continue to sign reserve/futures contracts, which allows organizations to retain (mostly) young, practice squad players throughout the offseason. We’ve compiled today’s reserve/futures contracts below: