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Denver Broncos To Waive Randy Gregory Amid Youth Movement


Randy Gregory’s potential to develop into an exceptional pass-rusher for the Denver Broncos was crushed on Wednesday when coach Sean Payton announced that the team would be cutting the outside linebacker.

“Something we felt was just best for our team right now timingwise,” Payton said Wednesday. “It hasn’t been finalized because, typically, before a transaction takes place, there may be some teams interested in a trade, but if any if that came to fruition …

“We just felt some of our younger players and where we’re going, it was best for our team.”

ESPN was informed by sources that Gregory and his agents had requested his release earlier this week. After discussing Gregory’s contract, his probable playing time, and his attitude, Payton, general manager George Paton, and owner/CEO Greg Penner concluded that releasing him was the best course of action, sources told ESPN.

“This was something we made and decided,” said Payton, who denied that Gregory had requested the release.

In March 2022, Gregory, 30 years old, agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal. According to the Roster Management System, his $14 million base salary for this season and an additional $5 million for the following season are fully guaranteed.

He was replaced by second-year outside linebacker Nik Bonitto in the starting lineup last week against the Chicago Bears. On Sunday, Gregory played 33 snaps and recorded three tackles and one quarterback hit. In four games this season, he has made just nine tackles and one sack.

In every significant statistical category, including scoring defense, total defense, and run defense, the Broncos’ defense ranks last or very near lowest in the league. With a pass rush win percentage of 30.5%, the defense ranks lowest in the league.

With 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble that Jonathon Cooper returned for a touchdown, Bonitto secured the victory on Sunday.

Gregory was one of the team’s outside linebackers, and Payton had said that they occasionally rushed too far, opening up escape paths for quarterbacks. At outside linebacker, Bonitto and Cooper are now the starting.

Baron Browning, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery following OTAs, is currently on the team’s physically unable-to-perform list. Frank Clark (hip) has participated in one game this season. The Broncos are hoping that both will be able to play again soon.

Thomas Incoom, a rookie who went undrafted, has also played defense on occasion.

Gregory had not played more than 47 snaps in any game this season, with his highest total coming in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders, when he played 47 (64% of the defensive snaps in the game).

In neither of the previous two games, he had participated in more than half of the defensive snaps.

Gregory vowed to have a better year than 2022, when he only participated in six games due to a knee ailment that needed surgery in Week 4. Gregory made this commitment throughout training camp. In addition, Gregory received a one-game ban for punching Rams lineman Oday Aboushi following a 51-14 loss on Christmas Day; Gregory had been removed from the game due to many penalties.

According to the Broncos, Gregory has taken a significant hit. The Broncos expected him to take the place of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, who were moved in 2021 and 2022, respectively, when he signed last year.

Because to injuries and 54 games of suspensions for violating the league’s substance usage policy, Gregory has never played a full season in his career. He’s never had more than six sacks in a season and has never started more than 11 games.

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