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Five Broncos Veterans Potentially Nearing Their End in Denver

There isn't much time left before the Broncos will cut down to their final 53-man roster. Many players will have their time in Denver cut short but five veterans stand out.

With the first cut-down day in the books for the Denver Broncos, the roster stands at 85 players and the team has two more deadlines approaching. On August 24, the Broncos have to whittle down to 80 players, and then a week later, down to the 53-man roster. 

Roster cuts are always tough and some veterans find their way to the open market or are even traded. That could be especially true for this year as the Broncos are extremely deep at multiple positions. 

Denver has multiple players that have been with the team for a while that are at risk of not making it this year. Some are bigger names than others, but they all are at risk of being cut or traded. 

Which more established vets are at risk of calling another city their NFL home by month's end? Let's dive in.

Tim Patrick | WR

How: Trade

Denver is really deep at wide receiver, and it has a lot of young players stepping up. But, unfortunately, a lot is going for and against Patrick when it comes to trading him. While he's been reliable for Denver, he is an older breakout player who will be 28 in November and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. 

There have been reports that the Baltimore Ravens have called Denver about Patrick, and it would make sense for both sides. Denver could get some draft capital or potentially a player in exchange for a guy at a position of strength. This is a move that seems more likely during the season, just before the trade deadline. 

Likelihood to be gone: 25%. 

Bryce Callahan | CB

How: Trade

It was revealed by GM George Paton that the Broncos have received calls about their depth at the cornerback position. There are two corners on-roster who make sense as potential trade pieces, with Bryce Callahan being the one that rises to the top. His age, contract, and injury history are why, but it is also why Denver could be hesitant to move him. 

In their latest practice, the Broncos used a formation that saw Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby, on the outside with rookie first-rounder Patrick Surtain II in the slot. Depending on the success of that corner grouping, it could make Denver more likely to move Callahan. The concern here is what happened to the Broncos last season when injuries stacked up as they had to sign players off the street just to field a defense on gameday. 

Likelihood to be gone: 40%. 

Austin Schlottmann | IOL

How: Cut

The Broncos seem to have decent depth on the interior offensive line, especially with Quinn Meinerz and Netane Muti. Schlottmann has a lot of experience, but he is getting left behind. He could be on his way out after a terrible showing at guard and center against the Vikings. 

Denver could look at Quinn Bailey to serve as a guard/tackle hybrid or at the versatility of other interior linemen. Whatever the case may be, Schlottmann has proven himself to be expendable with how he has played. His experience may not be enough to keep him around, but the additional depth could be. 

Likelihood to be gone: 50%. 

Dionte Spencer | WR/KR/PR

How: Cut or Traded

Denver seems to be doing whatever it can to find a replacement returner with someone who can offer more offensive ability. Unfortunately, that has always held Spencer back, and he has not been able to find a way to contribute consistently, not to mention his play as a returner can be very hit or miss in terms of consistency. 

Sometimes Spencer can have an excellent punt return; others will make a terrible decision to run it out from bad positions and he's muffed many punts. Last year, Spencer was one of 16 returners with at least 31 total returns, and he was second to last in kickoff return average. He did do a lot better as a punt returner with his average but also tied for second-most muffs with two. 

Likelihood to be gone: 90%. 

Royce Freeman | RB

How: Cut or Traded

There has been interested in Freeman from other teams, but Denver has held onto him so far. The injuries the team is dealing with at running back actually help his chances to stick with the Broncos. And, he has looked good in training camp and had a good opening preseason game. 

Denver losing LeVante Bellamy to injury, and then waiving him, does help Freeman as Bellamy was his main competition. How Freeman has looked hopefully boost what Denver can get from him in a trade if it decides to part ways. There's a chance trade hasn't happened so far because teams may be waiting until Denver cuts him. 

Likelihood to be gone: 50%. 

Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel.

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