DENVER—The Broncos have traded offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo to the Atlanta Falcons for a fifth-round draft pick.
Sambrailo is a former Colorado State standout whom the Broncos selected with their second-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. It began well for Sambrailo as he was the Broncos’ starting left tackle the first three games of their Super Bowl 50-winning season.
But he suffered a season-ending left shoulder injury in that third game at Detroit. As he attempted his comeback in 2016, Sambrailo suffered a dislocated right elbow.
The two injuries made it impossible for Sambrailo to work out with upper-body weights and his play suffered last season. During the offseason Sambrailo added 15 to 20 pounds while losing 5 to 6 percent of body fat.
Sambrailo played well his last two preseason games which included a stint at center Thursday night during the Broncos’ 30-2 win against Arizona.
“I’ve done everything I can do,’’ Sambrailo said following the game Thursday night. “If I don’t fit their team this year, then that’s just how it works. If I do fit, I was drafted here, I love this place, I would love to be a Broncos still. It’s really in their hands now. I control what I can control.’’
Don’t feel sorry for Sambrailo. With the Falcons, he joins an offensive line that blocks for quarterback Matt Ryan, receiver Julio Jones and running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Atlanta nearly won Super Bowl 51 last season before blowing a 28-3 lead and losing to New England in overtime, 34-28.
With Sambrailo traded, the Broncos’ offensive line is expected to include starters Garett Bolles, a first-round rookie at left tackle, center Matt Paradis, right guard Ron Leary and right tackle Menelik Watson.
Donald Stephenson, who restructured his contract so that he has a $2.5 million guaranteed salary, is the only known backup offensive tackle.
The team may also keep as many as four guards in Allen Barbre, Max Garcia, Connor McGovern and Billy Turner. The fate of guard-tackle Michael Schofield, a starter the previous two years, is uncertain.
Besides Sambrailo, the Broncos made several other moves Friday morning as they began trimming their roster from 90 to 53 players. Running back Stevan Ridley was released, while receiver Anthony Nash, running back Juwan Thompson, safety Dante Barnett, center Cameron Hunt, offensive tackle Justin Murray, defensive lineman Shakir Soto and Nelson Adams, outside linebackers Vontarrius Dora, Ken Ekanem and Deon Hollins, inside linebacker Quentin Gause and tight end Steven Scheu were waived.