Denver Broncos: 5 Veteran Players Who Will Not Make This Year's Team
The Broncos have a good mix of young players as well as some experienced veterans, and it is those veterans that we are going to take a look at here.
Putting the right pieces around Manning will be crucial, so the next two months will be a very important time for the Broncos.
This is a look at five players who will be placed on the practice squad, or may even be looking for a job within those next two months.
No, Not Knowshon
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But I got you with that opening picture, right?
To say Knowshon Moreno has been a bit of a disappointment would be an understatement.
The former first-round pick has averaged 635 yards rushing and three touchdowns over the first three years of his career. On top of that, he's missed 12 games.
Throw in his DUI arrest this past February, and many fans seem to think his Denver days are already over.
Still, the guy is clearly talented, and perhaps in the right offense, he could thrive.
Competition will be stiff at running back this year, and Moreno will have to prove he belongs. But I don't see the Broncos ready to give up on the guy and cut him just yet.
Now, if another team that needs a running back inquires about a trade, that's an entirely different story. I feel in that case, the Broncos would listen and Moreno would be packing.
Jason Hill, Wide Receiver
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Hill has 76 career receptions and eight touchdowns, but he has also been cut by both of his former teams, San Francisco and Jacksonville.
The wide receiver position will be amongst the most closely watched in camp, and I don't think Hill gets past the second round of cuts.
Ryan Harris, Offensive Tackle
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The Broncos drafted Ryan Harris in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft out of Notre Dame, and he has had some good games for the Broncos.
Philadelphia signed him last August, but he was waived just about a month later after going through back surgery.
With Ryan Clady and Orlando Franklin starting at the two tackle positions, I see Chris Clark and Tony Hills as better backups than Harris.
Ty Warren, Defensive Tackle
It's time for the Broncos to cut their losses with Ty Warren.
He hasn't played a snap since the 2009 season after a hip injury in 2010 and a torn triceps that cut his season short very early in training camp last year, not long after the Broncos had signed him as a free agent.
I realize that Warren is a former first-round pick with 20.5 career sacks, but after two years of not playing in the league, how much of a step has he lost? He is, after all, 31 years old now.
The Broncos have Justin Bannan and Sealver Siliga, and those should be the guys they go with unless Warren really has a standout camp.
Matt Willis, Wide Receiver
This is a tough one, but as stated earlier, the Broncos will want the right mix of receivers for Peyton Manning and the new offense they will implement.
I think the Broncos end up keeping six wide receivers, which should give Willis plenty of opportunities. I just think he'll simply be out-shined by some of the younger players at the position.
So if Willis doesn't make it, who will? Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Andre Caldwell are all shoe-ins at the position.
I think Manning will have some influence over Brandon Stokley making the roster and between Gerell Robinson, Mark Dell and Eric Page, two of them will be the choice, but all three will be ranked ahead of Willis.
Willis will be relegated to the practice squad this year.
Lance Ball, Running Back
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Knowshon Moreno will keep his spot on the roster because the Broncos will choose to part ways with Lance Ball, or, at the very least, demote him to the practice squad.
Ball ran for 402 yards and proved to be a serviceable player when called upon, but this season, the Broncos just won't need him.
Willis McGahee will carry the load for the Broncos, and they also drafted Ronnie Hillman in the third round of the NFL draft this past April.
Aside from them, they have a healthy Mario Fannin on board to go along with Moreno. Don't sleep on Jeremiah Johnson either. He is a player with some untapped potential.
Considering all these factors and the fact that the Broncos will probably only keep four or five of these guys, I don't see a spot for Ball.