BRONCOS

Stunner: Broncos release edge rusher Randy Gregory

Oct 4, 2023, 9:18 AM

Randy Gregory...

(Photo by Andrew Mason / DenverSports.com)

(Photo by Andrew Mason / DenverSports.com)

In a matter of days, Randy Gregory went from out of the starting lineup to off of the Broncos’ roster altogether.

Wednesday morning, the Broncos released Gregory, who came aboard as the signature signing of the 2022 free-agent class but endured a checkered stint of just under 19 months marked by injuries, on-field fracases and, finally, an ineffective start to his second season.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the news.

The move came three days after the Broncos chose not to start Gregory for the first time this season. It also comes just as Baron Browning is eligible to return from the physically-unable-to-perform list.

Although he was benched, Gregory still played 46 percent of the snaps last Sunday in Chicago. That was one percentage point and one snap fewer than he saw during the defense’s 70-point meltdown in Miami.

But he was largely ineffective against Justin Fields and the Bears offense, while his replacement, Nik Bonitto, had 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble that Jonathon Cooper returned for a touchdown.

The Broncos signed Gregory to a 5-year, $70-million contract in the 2022 offseason. However, the fully-guaranteed money in the contract was $28 million. So, the Broncos will still absorb a decent dead-money hit right now. And they are on the hook for his salary the rest of the season, as Gregory is a vested veteran.

If Denver had held on to Gregory through the season and then released him in March, the Broncos would have saved $9.8 million of cap space with $6.3 million of dead money.

In the end, Randy Gregory played 10 games and recorded 3 sacks. His free-agent tenure will certainly be regarded as a bust.

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Stunner: Broncos release edge rusher Randy Gregory