Broncos Release Veteran TE Jeff Heuerman

Chad Jensen

Ever since the Denver Broncos signed tight end Nick Vannett in free agency, it's felt like moving on from Jeff Heuerman was only a matter of course. On Friday, as the Broncos gear up for training camp to begin in earnest, that's exactly what happened. 

KUSA's Mike Klis broke the news. The Broncos have since confirmed. 

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Heuerman was entering his sixth year with the Broncos after originally joining the team as a third-round pick in the 2015 draft out of Ohio State. Heuerman's career got off to a less-than-ideal start when he suffered a torn ACL in rookie mini-camp, covering a kick-off of all things. 

The Broncos would go on to win the Super Bowl that year but Heuerman had to watch from the sidelines. Availability would become a real hindrance to his career in Denver taking off the way the team originally hoped. 

In 2016, Heuerman missed four games due to injury. In 2017, he missed two, while missing five in 2018 and two more this past season. Still, the Broncos felt like they'd only scratched the surface on his development when he became a free agent following the 2018 season. 

Heuerman was re-signed on a two-year deal worth $9 million. He would only play out one of those two seasons. 

Heuerman flashed at times and developed himself into a solid blocking tight end, thanks in part to the example of ex-Bronco and current L.A. Charger Virgil Green. However, Heuerman was never really able to take that next step forward as a receiver, which was evidenced by the Broncos continual drafting of tight ends from 2017 on. 

Now, Heuerman has to strike out on his own and try to land on his feet with another NFL club. Perhaps Gary Kubiak's Minnesota Vikings might have an interest in him. Heuerman leaves Denver with just 63 career receptions for 678 yards and five touchdowns. 

Meanwhile, the Broncos move on with still a veritable logjam at tight end. Vannett, Noah Fant, and rookie fourth-rounder Albert Okwuegbunam round out the roster locks this summer, with Jake Butt and Troy Fumagalli pushing to convince the team to carry four tight ends on the 53-man roster. 

Moving on from Heuerman frees up $3.875 million on the salary cap, according to Over The Cap. It also puts the Broncos roster at 79 players. Look for the team to make an addition in the coming days. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHudde.

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Comments (10)
No. 1-7
Brew77
Brew77

I still have NO idea why the Broncos waited until now on something just about everyone including Huermann already knew he wasn’t going to be a Bronco in 2020. With a crowded TE room and no preseason I guess they are giving Huermann a chance to catch on with another team but this move should have been made in April and not just strung Huermann along.

Kebby77
Kebby77

What a shocker!!

xecutioner
xecutioner

😳 Should have been cut 2 years ago.

Whiteaker
Whiteaker

Agree, with Xecutioner. This cut is years past due. Jake Butt is next. He has all the talent in the world, but the best ability in professional sports is availability.

Jimrichard
Jimrichard

I liked Heuerman when he was actually playing. Its a rough sport. I have to wonder how much doe he made in 4 years. Likely more than I will make in a lifetime. Butt had a good catch or two some years ago. He should pack his bag too.

Chilly303
Chilly303

No surprise with this. It seems with the logjam at TE, the only guy who wasn't going to be here, who might've had trade value, was Heuerman. With nothing done around the draft or before training camps start, there wasn't a reason to keep him and possibly take reps away from other TE's trying to make the team. And the Broncos did him right, he can still try to get on another team to continue his career. If he was a cut later in camp, it would've lowered his chances.

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

Have to agree with Brew. Why did this take this long to happen? Heuermann was left on pins and needles for months when he certainly knew his fate was coming. This doesn't seem very merciful to me to have left him dangling like this.

1 Reply

Chilly303
Chilly303

Erick Trickel commented on it in reply to brew. The Broncos were looking for a trade partner. Circumstances made that unrealistic.