Nathaniel Hackett “grateful” no Broncos were claimed, but is it concerning?

Aug 31, 2022, 2:18 PM

Nathaniel Hackett...

(Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

(Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

The Broncos didn’t have any players claimed out of the couple dozen they released on Tuesday.

Denver’s 53-man roster didn’t have any surprise shuffling on Wednesday, as they also didn’t claim anyone off waivers from another NFL team. They had two procedural moves — putting Greg Dulcich and Michael Ojemudia on short-term IR. But we knew those were coming to make room for Eric Tomlinson and Mike Purcell to get back on the 53.

On the surface that sounds all good, right? The Broncos assembled a 13-man practice squad that includes veteran QB Josh Johnson, offensive guard Netane Muti and fan favorite Kendall Hinton. Only Seth Williams’ status remains in question, as Denver wants him back on the practice squad, but Mike Klis reports Williams has other suitors around the NFL.

But is the fact no other GM around the league wanted one of the Broncos’ cuts for their own 53-man roster concerning? The Chicago Bears alone claimed six players from other teams. They had to make six more moves today with their active roster; the Broncos made none when it came to claims.

Head coach Nathaniel Hackett was asked as much at his press conference on Wednesday afternoon, and gave the politically correct answer.

“Yeah, you never know how that’s going to work. And everything’s a gamble,” Hackett said. “I think this was the first time there were so many different people that we wanted on our team. I mean, I wish I could’ve kept them all and I was nervous that a lot of those guys would get claimed, because they did do a very good job, but they didn’t (get claimed). So we’re so lucky to have them back here and we’re very grateful for that.”

It is a gamble indeed, but you have to get from the 80-man limit to 53 somehow. And for the Broncos, none of those moves were enticing enough for a rival GM to claim a player and cut one of his own. That could be just how things worked out. Or it could be Denver’s depth wasn’t that strong.

No one can blame Hackett for saying what he said about being “nervous” former Broncos would get snatched up. Luckily, he and GM George Paton didn’t have that problem.

We’ll find out what it ultimately means in the coming weeks.



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