Vance Joseph announced Monday the Broncos will only be keeping two quarterbacks on the 53-man active roster.
That effectively means Broncos will waive Kyle Sloter and then re-sign him to the practice squad. That also assumes that Broncos place Chad Kelly on IR.
For Sloter, once he is waived, he is free to sign with the practice squad on any team (or the active roster of any team), but the odds are highly unlikely that he would NOT sign with Denver’s practice squad. It’s also highly unlikely that he would be “stolen” from the Broncos’ practice squad.
There are three reasons for this:
1. He was undrafted for a reason.
Sloter only played one year of QB at the college level. That means that no team coveted him enough to use even a seventh-round pick on him to secure his services. But, wait, you say, Sloter has looked amazing against the third (or fourth string) defenders of the Bears and the 49ers. Hasn’t he shown enough for a QB-hungry team to take a chance on him? No, not really, and this brings me to the second reason.
2. He’s not the only good third-stringer out there
About half the league has a third- or fourth-string QB who has put up crazy-good numbers against guys who will be selling cell phones when the season starts. Just look at the stats of these back-up QBs through two preseason games (keeping in mind that some were against second- string and some were against third-string or worse):
Yes Sloter’s numbers look great, but so do the numbers for the other 13 QBs on this list. Admittedly some of these guys are highly drafted and/or highly compensated and not all are going to be QB3 for their team, but a significant number of them will be, and they might end up on the practice squad (if eligible).
3. Two on the roster is common.
This is the main point - it’s not uncommon for teams to only carry two QBs on their 53-man rosters during the regular season.
I looked at the roster of every NFL team on Oct. 1, 2016 (roughly three games into the season), and 12 of them only had two QBs on the 53-man roster. Eleven of the 12 of those had a QB on the practice squad, and none of those practice squad QBs were poached by other teams last season.
That doesn’t mean that it can’t or won’t happen, but it doesn’t happen very often. Of the 20 teams that kept three QBs on their active rosters, seven did so because they had invested draft capital in their third QB.
Here’s the breakdown for the whole league last season.
As of Oct. 1, 2016, no NFL team had three QBs on its 53-man roster plus a QB on its practice squad.
|Team||3 QBs?||Drafted QB3?||QB on PS||drafted QB on PS?|
|AZ||no||no||yes - Dysert||no|
|NYJ||yes - 4||yes - QB4||no||no|
The practice squad QB3s from that point in the year last season (chosen because Ourlads.com only takes a roster snapshot at the beginning of the month and 9/1/16 was before the cut-down):
MIA - Brandon Doughty (5th rnd pick of MIA in 2016)
BAL - David Fales (6th rnd pick of CHI in 2014)
IND - Stephen Morris (UDCFA)
TEN - Alex Tanney (UDCFA)
PHI - Aaron Murray (5th rnd pick of KC in 2014)
DET - Jake Rudock (6th rnd pick of DET in 2016)
MIN - Joel Stave (UDCFA)
ATL - Matt Simms (UDCFA)
NO - Garrett Grayson (3rd rnd pick of NO in 2015)
AZ - Zac Dysert (7th rnd DEN pick in 2015)
SEA - Jake Heaps (UDCFA)
Some of these guys looked really impressive in preseason and still none of them got poached. Here are their preseason stats from 2016:
Do you hope Kyle Sloter remains on the Broncos’ practice squad?
This poll is closed
I was kinda hoping he’d be the backup (or... starter???)