Numerous sites including the Denver Post are reporting that the Broncos have placed DT Phil Taylor on injured reserve due to the knee injury he suffered Friday, and signed DE/DT Billy Winn, formerly of the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts.
Winn looked like a really talented player at Boise State. I remember having some interest in him in the 2012 draft when the Broncos were in serious need of D-linemen. For whatever reason (lots of draft web sites had him graded as a 2nd or 3rd rounder), he slid down to the Browns in the 6th round. There were rumors about his work ethic. He had a decent rookie year, but has seen his playing time diminish, not increase since.
In 2015, the Browns traded Winn to the Colts for a conditional 7th rounder or some such deal. Apparently he was OK depth for them in a rotational role, but nothing special. He went to their IR with a rotator cuff injury in mid-December of 2015. He became an UFA in 2016. The Colts apparently weren't interested in re-signing him, and nobody else jumped in to sign him either. There were some rumors that he missed meetings and had issues with the Colts' coaches and/or front office, but I think most of us are aware that the Colts' coaches and front office had plenty of issues last season.
Anyway, the word on Winn seems to be that if he is healthy and motivated, he can probably be a decent but not outstanding D-lineman who can set the edge against the run, and occasionally push the pocket. He's struggled against double teams, but might be a reasonable fit in Wade's one gap system. Or else he's a training camp body.
As for Phil Taylor, while some have mentioned the possibility of keeping him on "temporary IR" and activating him later in the season when he's healthy, I don't think that's likely. Even with the rule change to the "temporary IR, a team only gets to use that option on one player per season, and Taylor just isn't important enough to use it on. Even if he hadn't been injured, he was never a "roster lock." I think it's far more likely that the Broncos will try to work out an injury settlement which could potentially save them a little cap space, and allow Taylor to seek another opportunity elsewhere. Otherwise, he'll likely remain on the Broncos' IR for the rest of the 2016 season. Either way, I wish him a speedy and complete recovery. He certainly isn't happy about it, though.
Fishy Fishy— Phil Taylor (@PhilTaylor98) July 31, 2016