According to 9News’ Mike Klis, the Broncos will part ways with veteran corner A.J. Bouye.
Because the 29-year old Bouye was acquired in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 for a 4th round draft pick, his release will create $13,218,750 in cap space. Per Over The Cap Broncos cap space jumps up to $32.7 million with Bouye’s release. While the actual cap ceiling is still a question right now, what’s notable is that only the Jaguars, Colts, Jets, Patriots, Bengals, and Football team have more cap space right now.
The 9th year veteran played in seven games. A dislocated shoulder in week one knocked him out until October before a PED suspension ended his season in December. He also missed the Falcons game in week nine due to a concussion.
Bouye’s release has looked imminent for weeks. He didn’t look like a CB1 when healthy and his suspension will linger into 2021. It looks like free agency will be loaded with corners and the Broncos find themselves in a prime draft slot to chase the premier talent in this draft class.
KOA’s Benjamin Allbright has reported that Bouye may be the first of a couple dominos to fall as the Broncos work to resign Justin Simmons and Shelby Harris. Simmons played on the franchise tag last season and will probably command north of $14 million a year in free agency. The Broncos only brought Shelby Harris back in 2020 after his market collapsed, which makes his contract negotiations less predictable. Both are key players in the Fangio defense.
A few potential cap maneuvers and numbers per OTC:— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) February 10, 2021
Von Miller - $18 M vs. 4.12 M dead
Kareem Jackson - $10 M vs $2.88 M dead
Jurrell Casey - $11.87 M
Nick Vannett - $2.67 M vs $.87 M dead
Jeff Driskel - $2.5 M vs $.87 M dead
Melvin Gordon also possible. https://t.co/99kPqRJX3i
Going forward the Broncos have a clear and obvious need at cornerback after 10 different players logged snaps last season. Even the returning starters come with questions. Bryce Callahan is set to return for the last year of his contract but has never played a full season in his NFL career. Michael Ojemudia enters year two after a roller coaster rookie season, the third round pick was a day one starter before he got benched in week 10, only to return week 12 and force two fumbles in the season finale.
If George Paton decides to look to a veteran corner Troy Hill could make a ton of sense for the Fangio defense. The former Ram had 3 interceptions playing for Fangio protégé Brandon Staley last season and looks like an easy scheme fit. If the Broncos elect to go with the draft they could have their choice of Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley or Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II.
We’ll have more news as we learn it.