Thompson, Dora, Tidwell, Murphy among cuts

Cut punter Colquitt signs with Browns
Posted at 1:06 PM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-03 16:59:38-04

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The depth of the Broncos defense bloomed fully this weekend when dreams wilted for talented players.

The Broncos began trimming their roster to reach the mandated 53-man limit by Saturday at 2 p.m. While they are attempting to trade running back Ronnie Hillman and continue to explore options with quarterback Mark Sanchez, including a deal, they have parted ways with contributors. Safety Ryan Murphy and offensive tackle Justin Murray were let go on Saturday. 

With the deadline approaching on Saturday, the Broncos were shopping Hillman and Sanchez. If the Broncos keep four running backs, then Hillman's spot becomes jeopardized since Kapri Bibbs plays on more special teams. The Broncos reached out to the Dallas Cowboys about Sanchez last week, but there wasn't a fit then. They are talking to multiple teams, according to sources. Knowing the Broncos, they will exhaust all avenues before making a decision on Sanchez. 

Denver's most high-profile cut so far -- punter Britton Colquitt -- has landed a job. Colquitt signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns according to multiple reports. The Broncos chose to keep rookie Riley Dixon instead of Colquitt after the veteran would not agree to a $1.6 million paycut. 

Outside linebackers Vontarrius Dora and Sadat Sulleyman starred in the preseason but were unable to squeak onto a Broncos team with blushing riches at their position. Cornerback Taurean Nixon also failed in his bid to stick. An injury in training camp slowed his progress at a position where the Broncos have plenty of resources.

Defensive lineman Kyle Peko was originally on list to be cut, but the Broncos changed their mind before the 2 p.m. deadline. He received the highest signing bonus among the undrafted rookies at $11,000. Henry Melton played well Thursday night as his status hung in the balance. But it wasn't enough as he was among Friday cuts, leaving Billy Winn in a better position, for now, to make the team.

Fullback Juwan Thompson highlighted the offensive players cut. He served as a valuable special teams member for two seasons but struggled with injuries last season.

"You are trying out for all 32 teams," said Thompson after Thursday's game. "That's the truth of it. You try to build relationships and those relationships kind of end or end up going elsewhere. It's a tough business, but that is what we deal with. That is what you sign up for."

Thompson's roster spot became expendable with the arrival of drafted fullback Andy Janovich and Bibbs' aforementioned versatility.

Players with Colorado high school ties -- cornerback John Tidwell and linebacker Eddie Yarbrough -- were released. Two receivers joined them, Kalif Raymond, who was unable to impress in a return role, and Mose Frazier, Paxton Lynch's former college teammate. Frazier is a candidate for the practice squad, though his focus is on landing on a 53-man.

"I left all on the field," Frazier said. "I can sleep well with how I performed."


Safety Wil Parks tweeted "God is Good. Officially a Bronco." His inclusion makes it likely that all of Denver's draft picks this spring will make the roster. 



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