Butting up against the NFL's mandated deadline to cut the current 90-man roster down to 85, the Denver Broncos' first cut has been revealed. According to 9NEWS' Mike Klis, the Broncos waived second-year safety Jamar Johnson.
The roster cut might come as a surprise to some fans because Johnson was a fifth-round pick last year, and part of GM George Paton's maiden draft class. Johnson also led the Broncos in tackles in the team's 17-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night (seven/five solo), so why is he getting shown the door first?
Johnson has simply failed to make an impact since arriving last year. Between illness and an injury, he missed a good chunk of training camp as a rookie, but the Broncos still kept him on the 53-man roster where he was supposed to help out on special teams. Alas, he did not.
Johnson appeared in three games for the Broncos last year, failing to register a single statistic, other than snaps. Known as a ball-hawk coming out of Indiana, the big question with him was always tackling and physicality and he's failed to show much progress in that department — Saturday night's preseason game notwithstanding.
Meanwhile, other safeties have flourished. Johnson's draft classmate, and fellow fifth-rounder, Caden Sterns, absolutely seized his opportunity last year, earning a role on the Broncos' defense as the No. 3 safety behind Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson.
This year, Johnson was further outshined by P.J. Locke, who really stood out in preseason Game 1. It's unfortunate that Denver is saying goodbye to a former mid-round pick so recently drafted, but Johnson wasn't cutting the mustard.
The Broncos re-upped at safety in this year's draft, selecting Delarrin Turner-Yell in the middle rounds. Plus, the team signed veteran safety J.R. Reed in free agency. Johnson couldn't forestall Sterns, Locke, Turner-Yell, and Reid from eating out of his bowl.
Here's to hoping the kid catches on elsewhere.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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