According to a report by 9News’ Mike Klis the Broncos have released tight end Nick Vannet. The transaction will cost the Broncos $875,000 in a dead cap hit while it will frees up $2,678,125 in cap space.
Vannett was signed from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020 to replace Jeff Heuerman as the Broncos second tight end. He played in 15 games and finished with 14 catches on 21 targets for 95 yards and one touchdown. Ever since the Broncos drafted Missouri’s Albert Okwuegbunam in the fourth round of the 2020 draft this move looked like it’d be coming. If Noah Fant and Okwuegbunam are both healthy, Vannett would be locked in as the third string tight end which makes his cap number pretty onerous.
Last year’s injury to Okwuegbunam left some question as to the Broncos plan at tight end as we still don’t know how he’ll look after the ACL tear. The decision to part ways with Vannett would suggest that George Paton and the Broncos’ medical staff is confident he’ll return to form. In four games last year Okweugbunam finished with 11 catches on 15 targets for 121 yards and a touchdown. He also had a chance at two other touchdown grabs in the Broncos’ game against the New England Patriots.
The Broncos have already shown interest in rookie tight ends. Looking ahead it wouldn’t be a surprise if they draft another prospect and/or bring in cheap veteran depth to provide insurance behind the “big two.”
We’ll have more on this story as we learn it.