JACK DEMPSEY/Associated Press
This group of wide receivers is one of the deepest and most talented in the NFL. This depth is great for the Broncos, but it’s bad for a veteran trying to make the team like Jordan Norwood.
Undrafted out of Penn State in 2009, Norwood has played for four different teams in the NFL (including two stints with the Cleveland Browns). He’s a savvy veteran who knows how to run a crisp route and get open. Norwood can also contribute as a return man if need be.
The Broncos signed him to a futures contract at the end of 2013. Norwood is now doing his best to make the team, even though the odds seem to be stacked against him.
He’s been standing out in practice most every day. Catching passes from Brock Osweiler or Zac Dysert, Norwood can bail out his quarterback by making difficult catches seem routine. He’s getting plenty of opportunities (especially with Dysert) to adjust to poorly-thrown passes.
Norwood has little chance of making this roster, and he may not have any practice squad eligibility left. Per the collective bargaining agreement's definition (via Wikipedia) of practice squad eligibility:
A player cannot participate on the practice squad for more than three seasons; he is eligible for a third season only if the team has at least 53 players on its active/inactive list for the duration of that player's employment, or have no prior accrued seasons in the NFL (an accrued season is six or more games on the active roster); or if he has accrued a year of NFL experience on a club's 53-man active roster. If the player was on the active list for fewer than 9 games during their "only Accrued Season(s)", he maintains his eligibility for the practice squad.
Norwood has appeared in 16 games during his pro career, posting numbers as a receiver in all but four of those contests.
It would be great if the Broncos could find a spot for Norwood. He’s smart, professional, prepared and knows how to get open on underneath routes. Norwood can be a reliable receiver, and he will do whatever it takes to make a catch.
Unfortunately, it looks like Norwood is about seventh on the depth chart right now. Undrafted rookie Isaiah Burse might make the team as a sixth wide receiver this year because of his ability as a return man. Norwood is likely to just barely miss the cut.
All quotes and injury/practice observations obtained firsthand. Record/statistical information provided via email from the Denver Broncos. Contract and salary-cap information provided by Spotrac.com. Transaction history provided by ProSportsTransactions.com.
Cecil Lammey can be followed on Twitter @CecilLammey