The NFL can be a cruel business. Many players may see their careers end after the preseason; dreams crushed by the business that is the NFL. Since not everyone can make the roster, here are five Broncos that I think are on the Roster Bubble.
Roster Bubble Player #1: Brett Rypien (QB)
I like Brett Rypien as much as the next guy. He’s a good guy, works hard, and knows the playbook inside and out. Rypien has only started in one regular-season game, back in 2020. His lone other appearance saw him go 0-2 passing, although he wasn’t exactly given the keys to the Broncos’ offense. It remains to be seen, but Rypien could find himself once again on the practice squad or testing the waters of free agency. It all comes down to two things. Number one, can Rypien make the throws that Josh Johnson can’t? Number two, can Brett execute when it matters most? These factors, along with Johnson’s play will determine whether or not Rypien makes the roster.
Roster Bubble Player #2: Bless Austin (CB)
The numbers for Austin are not on his side. In three years with the Jets and Seahawks, his coverage metrics were bad. He’s given up an average completion rate of 66%, 822 yards, 4 touchdowns, and an average rating of 94.6 over three seasons. The Broncos will not carry nine corners on the roster. Austin will be one of the roster cuts.
Roster Bubble Player #3: Aaron Patrick (OLB)
Patrick played 72% of special teams snaps last season. Patrick is well-liked on special teams. However, it’s easier to replace special teams players, especially when they contribute very little on defense. Denver could stash him on the practice squad, but he will not make the active roster. There’s too much depth at OLB currently for me to see him making it.
Roster Bubble Player #4: Sam Martin (P)
This one is not because Martin is a bad punter, per se, but Corliss Waitman could push Martin for the job, as he didn’t play bad last year either in relief of Pressley Harvin. Martin’s departure could also save Denver 2.25 Million in cap space.
Roster Bubble Player #5: Tyrie Cleveland
Cleveland had 6 receptions for 63 yards in his rookie season. He looked somewhat promising but saw no action in 2021 outside of a lone target. Cleveland has good speed and made a couple of nice snags in that 2020 season, but his route running and agility are concerns. While he could play from the slot, it’s likely we’ll see a combo of Jeudy/Hamler/Washington there, and I don’t think he’s done anything to beat Kendall Hinton. While he could be kept as a returner, Hamler and Montrell Washington may take those reps from him, and he could see himself in free agency.
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