CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- After punter Britton Colquitt declined to shave his $3.25 million salary in half, the Broncos cut the veteran on Tuesday.
Colquitt decided against taking a pay cut in back-to-back seasons. He enjoyed a strong run late last year and became one of Denver's most valuable weapons in the playoffs, averaging 46.6 yards per attempt. The Broncos wanted to pay Colquitt roughly $1.6 million this season. He countered at a smaller amount, but couldn't find resolution. The Broncos asked him to take less because they could. Denver drafted Syracuse's Riley Dixon in the seventh round to challenge Colquitt, and he performed well on eight punts last week. The rookie is due to make $530,000.
The Broncos attempted to trade Colquitt over the past few days but were unsuccessful. Carolina and Cleveland were among the teams interested, but the two worked out a deal with each other on Monday.
To reach 75-player limit by the 2 p.m. deadline, the Broncos placed tight end Garrett Graham on injured reserve and cut wide receiver/returner Bralon Addison and left tackle Kyle Roberts. Graham missed most of camp with a shoulder issue.
Sanchez in limbo
Quarterback Mark Sanchez's future in Denver, too, hangs in the balance. He could be cut, take a pay cut or get traded. Sanchez isn't looking to leave. He praised the Broncos organization as "first class" on Tuesday and said he would be open to staying. The problem is his money. The Broncos don't want him as a quasi-second or third-stringer at $4.5 million. If they cut him, the Broncos save $3.5 million and keep a seventh-round draft pick. Sanchez handled his awkward with aplomb on Tuesday.
"I don’t need to be thinking about, ‘Well man, should I be here? Should I work out hard? Should I try? I have to be here. I have to be in the moment and I have to be focused. I think that’s fair to the other players. If things don’t work out the way that you want, you can’t just act like a crybaby and cause a problem. That’s not right," Sanchez said. "I just don’t think that’s the professional way to do it, so I’ll help Trevor in any way that I can. It’s a good thing he’s a likeable guy. It could be a lot worse.”
Latimer, Fowler improve
The Broncos banged up receiver corps made progress Tuesday. Cody Latimer (left knee) went through some light drills. And Bennie Fowler (broken bone in right elbow) worked on the side with a trainer. Both remain hopeful that they will be ready for the Sept. 8 opener against Carolina. Their questionable status, however, could figure into the roster construction. Jordan Norwood has locked up a spot as a reserve, and Jordan Taylor is pushing to do the same. Moze Frazier, a teammate of Paxton Lynch's at Memphis, projects as a practice squad player.
Receiver Emmanuel Sanders didn't practice Tuesday because of an illness. ... Right guard Ty Sambrailo carried his elbow brace onto the field, but didn't wear it during light drill work. He is a candidate to start the season unavailable, but is making progress. ... Tight end Jeff Heuerman practiced. His return can't be overstated. He has been a ghost in camp because of a hamstring injury. This offense functions at its best when it has two tight ends as receiving threats. ... Projected starting right guard Darrion Weems has been cleared from the concussion protocol. If healthy, he will likely start against Carolina.