The Denver Broncos have begun to make various roster moves that will free up salary cap space for them ahead of NFL Free Agency next week.

Denver Broncos clear nearly $27M in cap space with two roster moves

For the last week or two, various teams around the NFL have made personnel moves via restructuring contracts or releasing players to free up salary cap space ahead of free agency. The Denver Broncos were idle until Friday afternoon.

As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, the Broncos made three personnel decisions that helped free up nearly $27M in cap space.

Cornerback Ronald Darby, offensive guard Graham Glasgow, and running back Chase Edmonds were all released on Friday.

Darby spent the last two seasons as a member of the Broncos after signing a three-year contract in 2021. In two seasons with the team, he played 16 total games.

The veteran cornerback was playing at a high-level last season before tearing his ACL in the Broncos’ Week 5 loss against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football.

He allowed seven catches on 18 targets in five games last season, forcing quarterbacks to have a 69.9 passer rating when targeting him.

Darby’s release saves the Broncos around $9.6M and gives them an estimated $27M in cap space total.

It appears now that Denver is proceeding forward with Patrick Surtain II and Damarri Mathis as their projected starting cornerbacks on the outside. Don’t be surprised if the Broncos do look to add a veteran in free agency to help bolster some of the team’s depth on the outside under new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.

However, Denver could stand still on adding players at cornerback in free agency considering they have developmental talent on their roster like Lamar Jackson, Faion Hicks, Ja’Quan McMillian, and Delonte Hood.

With Christian Parker’s return as the defensive backs coach, the front office may allow him to further develop those players.

Broncos offensive line rebuild begins
After several years of being a starter on the offensive line, the Broncos and Graham Glasgow are going their separate ways.

Glasgow originally signed with Denver in 2020 to start at right guard. He dealt with a variety of injuries that impacted him during his time with the Broncos including a major injury in 2021 after breaking his leg.

Each season he’s been a member of the team, he’s restructured his contract to help give Denver more cap space. Now general manager George Paton is heading in a different direction from the veteran offensive lineman.

His release clears up nearly $11M for the Broncos ahead of next week’s free agency period which kicks off on March 15.

Broncos in running back market after Chase Edmonds release
After coming over to the Broncos in the Bradley Chubb trade, running back Chase Edmonds is hitting the free agency market after being released by the team on Friday.

Denver saves nearly $5.9M by letting Edmonds go, opening them up to be potential buyers during free agency next week on March 15.

With Javonte Williams ‘on track’ to return from his ACL injury, Denver is expected to look at running backs on the open market including the possibility of bringing back Latavius Murray.

Edmonds demonstrated several flashes toward the end of last season inside of the Broncos offense as a pass-catching tailback and displayed several explosive runs.

Unfortunately for Edmonds, he injured his ankle in his second game with the Broncos and missed four games before returning and playing in the team’s final three games of the year. In those games respectively, he had six carries for 31 yards, seven carries for 34, and nine carries for 45 yards in a limited capacity.

What will the running back room look like in 2023?

What do these moves mean for the Broncos?
With the free agency frenzy expected to ramp up next week, the Broncos are trying to create more salary cap space. These three moves could be an indication of creating space to retain top in-house free agent Dre’Mont Jones, but there are other needs they may look to address if they are out of Jones’ market.

Broncos general manager George Paton has discussed how important it is that Denver rebuilds their offensive line this upcoming season which could see them with a brand new left tackle, left guard, center, and right tackle.

With Sean Payton as the head coach, his offense needs a strong offensive line unit to help create a punishing run game to set up the pass with Russell Wilson and the variety of different receivers he has returning in 2023.

Other in-house options they’ll have to address include inside linebacker Alex Singleton and several others like Calvin Anderson — restricted free agents like P.J. Locke, Jacob Bobenmoyer, and Brett Rypien. These moves won’t cost Denver as much financially as it will rebuilding the offensive line and hopefully retaining Jones on the defensive line.