The Denver Broncos whittled the roster down to 53 players on Tuesday ahead of the NFL deadline. Along the way, the Broncos had to part ways, albeit temporarily in many cases, with several familiar faces and players whom the team still envisions a long-term place with the club.
Those cuts the Broncos want to re-sign to the roster have to pass through the NFL's waiver wire unclaimed. One such player whom the team wanted back was safety Trey Marshall but the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers claimed him.
However, the Broncos were fortunate to get 14 of the players initially waived signed to the practice squad as the team announced on Wednesday. Here's who re-signed.
- Quinn Bailey | OT | Third Year
- Shaun Beyer | TE | Rookie
- Tyrie Cleveland | WR | Second Year
- Damarea Crocket | RB | First Year
- Nate Hairston | CB | Fifth Year
- Drew Himmelman | OT | Rookie
- Kendall Hinton | WR | Second year
- Mac McCain III | CB | Rookie
- Curtis Robinson | LB | Rookie
- Brett Rypien | QB | Third Year
- Austin Schlottmann | OL | Third Year
- Marquiss Spencer | DL | Rookie
- Barrington Wade | LB | Rookie
- Seth Williams | WR | Rookie
You'll note that three of the players re-signed are recent Broncos' draft picks. Plus, two are players who've received significant investment and/or development in Denver, like Rypien and Schlottmann.
The Broncos can roster a 16-man practice squad, which means GM George Paton is likely combing over the league's roller-coaster roster cuts to find two more candidates. With the new NFL practice squad rules, the Broncos can 'protect' four players each week to prevent outside teams from swooping in and signing them away.
It used to be that the practice squad was for players with limited experience but the new post-pandemic rules allow six of the spots to be held irrespective of NFL tenure. Lastly, the Broncos can 'promote' two practice-squad players to the gameday roster each week but there are two caveats.
The players have to be sent back down to the practice squad the next day.
There's a two-game limit per player.
So, if Rypien were to get called up twice, after the third time, the Broncos would be required to waive him and subject him to the NFL wire. So, as beneficial as the new practice squad rules are, there's also some strategy involved in maximizing them to the greatest effect.
Update: The Broncos re-signed defensive lineman Jonathan Harris after he initially made the 53-man roster but was waived the day after.
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