ENGLEWOOD, CO — The Denver Broncos made a big roster move on Wednesday morning prior to practice. It was announced that the team released veteran pass rusher Randy Gregory, who the team signed in NFL Free Agency just two seasons ago.

Denver Broncos release veteran OLB Randy Gregory

It was evident that change was approaching the Denver Broncos outside linebacker room when Randy Gregory was demoted from starting to coming off the bench against the Chicago Bears.

The Broncos got their first win of the season, and the contributions of Nik Bonitto, who started in place of Gregory, and Jonathon Cooper were catalysts that helped complete Denver’s comeback against the Bears.

According to Spotrac, the Broncos’ official release of Gregory costs them around $16.1M in dead cap for this season but ultimately frees up around $9.8M in salary cap space for 2024.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the move.

At the beginning of the season, Gregory was the starter opposite of Jonathon Cooper at outside linebacker and registered one sack in Week 2 against the Washington Commanders.

Broncos head coach Sean Payton decided to make changes to some personnel this past Sunday which led to Gregory being demoted in favor of second-year pass rusher Nik Bonitto. Gregory only played 46% of the team’s defensive snaps against the Bears.

After dealing with injury last season, Gregory’s Broncos tenure comes to a close after appearing in just 10 games after signing a 5-year $70M contract in 2021.

How does this move impact the Broncos edge rusher position?

The release of Randy Gregory means that other players will have to step up at outside linebacker. With Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper set to be the starting duo for the foreseeable future, which players step up behind them is worth monitoring.

Veteran outside linebacker Frank Clark mentioned to us last week that he could be in line to return on Sunday against the New York Jets. If that’s the case, he’ll be the first option off the bench in a rotational role behind Cooper and Bonitto.

The Broncos also have defensive end Ronnie Perkins, who could play some outside linebacker. Perkins has been inactive for the past two weeks of play for Denver.

Denver also has undrafted rookie free agents Thomas Incoom and Marcus Haynes on the roster and practice squad, and they could see some potential action.

However, with Baron Browning potentially returning soon from the PUP list, his name becomes a top priority in Denver’s pass rush rotation when that does happen.