Sean Payton explains decision to cut Randy Gregory from Broncos
Oct 4, 2023, 3:00 PM | Updated: Oct 5, 2023, 9:16 am
The Denver Broncos and head coach Sean Payton made the surprising decision to cut Randy Gregory on Wednesday.
The edge rusher wasn’t a starter in Week 4 against the Chicago Bears and didn’t look thrilled to be on the field when he did get some snaps.
Both Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper had great games, plus Denver should get Baron Browning back soon, so the call was made to let Gregory go.
After practice on Wednesday, Payton explained the decision.
“It’s something we felt that’s just best for our team right now, timing wise.” Payton said. “We just felt like with some of our younger players, and where we’re going, it was best for our team right now.”
Payton added the transaction is not finalized yet. He said teams could be interested in a trade before they ultimately make it official, but it’s almost assuredly headed in that direction.
“This was something we made and decided. And look, ultimately you always spend a lot of time on decisions like this. So, like I said, we felt like it was best for our team,” Payton said.
As for if letting Gregory go was easier because of the play of Bonitto and Cooper, Payton admitted that factored into it.
“We just felt like these other guys were playing better. And, you know, that happens in this league. Shoot, we want the best players possible, and so there was a combination of things. But yeah, those other guys stepped up and we feel like they’re playing better,” Payton said.
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.
Gregory only played 10 games for Denver, recording a lousy three sacks. Once again, GM George Paton missed on a big decision, and the other Payton felt the need to clean it up quickly.