Year after year the Broncos (and every NFL team) cut a handful of guys that make the average fan say, “Whaaaaat?” Just look at 2014 – raise your hand if you thought neither Duke Ihenacho nor Kevin Vickerson would suit up for Denver in Week 1. If your arm’s up, you’re a regular Pinocchio.

Here are five guys who could suffer a similar fate in early September this year:

5. Andre Caldwell

Caldwell was invited to Duke last offseason to toss the pigskin around with Peyton Manning – a big deal at the time as “Bubba” was snubbed the year before. But that was the extent of the headlines the guy made in 2014; he caught a measly five passes in a very disappointing season. The Broncos may be thin at wide receiver, but with only a $200,000 dead cap hit the roster spot can be better used elsewhere.

4. Ben Garland

Garland’s a fan favorite and rightfully so. He’s a captain for the Colorado Air National Guard and is a staple in this community. The Broncos, though, will likely move last year’s third round pick Michael Schofield to guard at some point during camp and Garland could be the odd man out. With no dead money against the cap Garland could be cut simply because the Broncos can’t justify carrying seven interior linemen. 

3. Tony Carter

If you made it through the snoozefest that is day three of the NFL Draft, one thing was made perfectly clear by the Broncos: They wanted to add depth at cornerback. Denver took corners with three of their last five picks, including both Lorenzo Doss (No. 164 overall) and Taurean Nixon (No. 251 overall) from Tulane. Cutting Carter would save the Broncos more than $1.5M; he may be looking for work in a couple months.

2. Britton Colquitt

The Broncos veteran punter could lose his job to a YouTube sensation. Seriously.  The team signed Karl Schmitz in March after his videos (and massive leg) caught their eye. He hasn’t kicked since 2008 at Jacksonville University, but go Google him and watch before you scoff. Schmitz could steal Brandon McManus’ roster spot as well if he proves capable of handling kickoffs. Two for the price of one!

1. Ronnie Hillman

Hillman has been hyped for years and has lived up to exactly none of it. In three seasons he hasn’t cracked 1,000 yards – not just in a year – in his entire career. With C.J. Anderson and Montee Ball locks to make the team, and the tough running Juwan Thompson a likely shoo-in, only one back would have to jump Hillman to take his job. Every year someone emerges; this year it’ll be the guy who sends Hillman packing.

This article appeared in the July issue of Mile High Sports Magazine.