CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Bradley Roby built a reputation on big plays.
In his first game as a rookie, he broke up an Andrew Luck pass to clinch a victory over the Colts. He romped into the end zone with a fumble to beat the Chiefs in Kansas City. He caused a fumble in the AFC divisional round two seasons ago, paving the way to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. He intercepted a Tom Brady two-point conversion pass in the AFC Championship game, spoiling New England's comeback. And last season, though not his finest, he sealed an ugly win at Jacksonville with a pick six.
The resume speaks to his value. The action of the team will soon follow. The Broncos are expected to pick up Roby's fifth-year rookie option, according to multiple NFL sources. The deadline to exercise the option is May 3. It becomes guaranteed for injury at that time.
General manager John Elway implied at the NFL Combine last month that he was likely to make this move. The fifth-year option provides an $8.52 million salary for Roby. It is steep for a third cornerback, but Roby is a reserve in name only. He played 60 percent of the Broncos' snaps last season, and provides flexibility in how the Broncos use All-Pros Chris Harris and Aqib Talib. Roby also provides critical depth following the free agent departure of Kayvon Webster and back issues suffered by Talib last season.
"The nickel player is a starting player," coach Vance Joseph said. "If you don't have one it's an issue. It is very important."
Roby, a first-round draft choice out of Ohio State, has five career interceptions. The Broncos declined to pick up the fifth-year option on nose tackle Sylvester Williams. He struggled last season and signed as a free agent with the Tennessee Titans.