The Denver Broncos are moving on from outside linebacker Jacob Martin after initially trading for him at the deadline last season.

Martin was released on Wednesday according to the NFL’s Transaction Wire, ending his brief stint with the Broncos.

During the NFL Trade Deadline last season, the Broncos traded for Martin after subsequently trading away former first-round pass rusher Bradley Chubb.

After offsetting Chubb, the Broncos’ depth at the outside linebacker position was questionable, especially after Aaron Patrick tore his ACL weeks earlier.

Martin was brought in to add depth to the position room, and to help contribute to special teams.

He appeared in five games for Denver last season and finished his short stint with six tackles and one sack before suffering a knee injury that abruptly ended his season.

Proceeding forward, the Denver Broncos depth at the outside linebacker position features Baron Browning and Randy Gregory as their projected starters for 2023. Behind Gregory and Browning, second-year edge rusher Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper are the prime favorites to rotate in on defense this upcoming season.

Undrafted rookie free agent Christopher Allen will be in the mix during training camp after the team utilized 2022 as a red-shirt season for him โ€” placing him on injured reserve during training camp.

During the team’s rookie minicamp/tryout this upcoming weekend, former Houston Roughnecks XFL pass rusher Trent Harris could come in and impress enough to earn a spot on the team’s 90-man roster.

He finished the 2023 season with the Roughnecks and former Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, accounting for 9.5 sacks, 30 tackles, and 12 tackles for a loss. Harris could also generate a potential roster spot by contributing on special teams as well, helping fill the void left by the departure of Martin.

As Sean Payton takes over as the head coach in 2023, he’ll demand a lot in terms of production from the pass rush after the Broncos finished tied for 23rd in the NFL in sacks (36) last season โ€” led by former players Dre’Mont Jones (6.5) and Chubb (5.5).

The defense struggled to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks last season after Chubb was traded and Jones’ went down with a hip injury.

Internally, the Broncos are hoping that Gregory and Browning both remain healthy throughout the 2023 season โ€” while new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph looks to maximize the unit’s opportunities of sacking the quarterback.

Ironically, the last time Denver had a player on defense who amassed double-digit sacks was when Joseph was the head coach in 2018 and was calling the defense.

Under his direction, Chubb and Von Miller combined for 26.5 total sacks that season before Joseph was ultimately dismissed at the end of the season. When the Broncos brought in Vic Fangio as their next head coach, there was hope that Miller and Chubb’s production would skyrocket.

Unfortunately, injuries never allowed that to happen, and Denver struggled to sack the QB in the years to follow. Despite getting off to a hot start in 2022, the pass rush element for Denver disappeared after Chubb’s departure.

It will be up to Browning and Gregory to help lead the charge this upcoming season in a division that features the elusive Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert.