Around the AFC West: Roster cuts

ENGLEWOOD, CO - MAY 24: Denver Broncos quarterbacks Trevor Simian (13) Mark Sanchez (6) Paxton Lynch (12) during OTA's May 24, 2016 at UCHealth Training Facility. (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD, CO - MAY 24: Denver Broncos quarterbacks Trevor Simian (13) Mark Sanchez (6) Paxton Lynch (12) during OTA's May 24, 2016 at UCHealth Training Facility. (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 3
Next
ENGLEWOOD, CO - MAY 24: Denver Broncos quarterbacks Trevor Simian (13) Mark Sanchez (6) Paxton Lynch (12) during OTA's May 24, 2016 at UCHealth Training Facility. (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD, CO – MAY 24: Denver Broncos quarterbacks Trevor Simian (13) Mark Sanchez (6) Paxton Lynch (12) during OTA’s May 24, 2016 at UCHealth Training Facility. (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

The AFC West begins it’s first contest of the regular season on Thursday when the Denver Broncos play host to the Carolina Panthers.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the Chiefs host the Chargers and the Raiders travel to New Orleans. However, before the regular season can start, each team had to cut their rosters down to a league mandated 53. That means that there were plenty of NFL-caliber players cut by teams trying to compete for a playoff spot. Some of these players came as a bit of a surprise. Others were predicted way back when camp first started.

Here I dive into our rival teams’ sites so you don’t have to. I’ll discuss the biggest names and a few surprise cuts over the weekend. A link for a complete list of cuts for each team will be provided.

Denver Broncos- Biggest name 

We will start with the team that cut probably some of the most interesting players of any in the AFC West. The Broncos lost assumed starter at quarterback Brock Osweiller in free agency way back in march to the Houston Texans. In order to replace him they drafted Paxton Lynch in the first round and signed veteran Mark Sanchez. Left on the roster was former seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian who expected to compete with Sanchez for the starting job.

Siemian ended up doing more than compete as he received the vote of confidence from head coach Gary Kubiak for the starting position. The result left Sanchez out in the cold looking for another team. This wasn’t surprising as the Broncos let it be known that Sanchez was available shortly after the third preseason game.

However there isn’t a GM in the NFL who would trade a lame horse for Sanchez when they know the Broncos wanted nothing to do with him. The Broncos feel that Lynch may be ready to start sometime this season and so there was no need for two quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart.

Say what you want about Sanchez but when his defense is solid so he doesn’t have to make critical decisions he can serve a purpose. Dallas signed him to a free agent contract shortly after he was released.

Other Notable Names

One name that was a bit of a surprise to see waived by Denver was running back Ronnie Hillman. Hillman was the starter at the beginning of last season when injury allowed CJ Anderson to take over. Hillman is talented but has had some issues with health and fumbling. He may catch on with another team though running back has proven to be a very deep position in the market over the last several years.

Chiefs’ Dustin Colquitt’s brother Britton was also cut by the Broncos in order to save money at a position that has far less impact if one is shopping in the bargain bin. Colquitt is a solid punter that should latch on somewhere else as long as he lowers his price tag some.

Click here for a complete list of Denver transactions.

Next: Who else got released?