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Randy Gregory’s departure signals youth movement at outside linebacker

By releasing Randy Gregory, the Denver Broncos will give their young stable of pass rushers a chance to shine the rest of the season.

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Denver Broncos vs Chicago Bears Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country.

As most of you know already know, the Denver Broncos cut ties with former high-profile free agent signing Randy Gregory yesterday.

Original reports state that he would be released, but according to Sean Payton it appears that the team is trying to trade him. Whether or not the Broncos are able to fetch a late-round pick for his services is to be determined, but it’s obvious his days in the Mile High City are over.

There is no doubt Gregory underperformed in his limited time with the franchise. It’s easily one of the worst free agent signings in recent memory and an obvious failure by George Paton, who thought it was wise to give him a large contract with two years of guaranteed money—despite the fact there was never any consistency in Gregory’s game other than routinely missing time.

It was a bad decision from jump street, but it was wise for them to jettison him off now. It’s a smart move for the team. They will absorb most of the dead money immediately and can look forward to the future. And in a way, it is doing Gregory a solid, who might be able to land with a contender or a team where he can get more playing time.

All things considered, Gregory’s departure will give plenty of opportunities for Jonathon Cooper, Nik Bonitto, and Baron Browning [once he is healthy enough to log snaps on game day] to shine and develop as players. They are three very talented players that the Broncos drafted. It’s the right call to let their homegrown talent get as many reps as possible.

I’m looking forward to seeing their improvement as the season goes on and quite impressed with what they’ve been able to do to date. Through four games this season, Cooper and Bonitto have combined for 6.5 sacks and their game-changing tandem play late in the game against the Chicago Bears helped turn the tide and give the team a much-needed momentum swing to ascend to victory. I’ve also seen improvement from both of them in setting the edge against the run, which will be important for them to continue to improve upon as the year goes on.

Upgrading their edge group early on in the draft was a consideration of mine a few weeks ago, but if the aforementioned players are able to turn things up a notch the remainder of the year—we might be able to chalk that up as a mid-to-late round need instead of one that needs to be addressed early on in the 2024 NFL Draft. It’ll be interesting to see how it shakes out, but I’m excited for the Broncos’ younger pass rushers to get a chance to evolve more as players.

As always, thanks for reading. Feel free to share your thoughts about the Broncos’ pass rushing situation in the comments selection. For now, here is a slate of football stories and videos to get start off your day.

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