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Broncos reduce roster to 53-man limit

Veterans Stephen and Fleming released but perhaps for only one day. Rookies Andre Mintze and Kary Vincent Jr. make the team.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After 9NEWS confirmed 15 roster cuts Monday, 12 more spots were cleared by 2 p.m. Tuesday as Broncos’ first-year general manager George Paton set his initial 53-man roster.

"Personally, this is the toughest time of year to go through this, and really for our entire building,'' Paton said of moving 27 of 80 players off the roster in a 21-hour period from 5 p.m. Monday til 2 p.m. Tuesday. "Anyone who touches these players, there just not players to us. For the scouts, we've been in their colleges, we've gotten to know their families. We get to know the day-to-day. So it's a tough day."

The 12 additional moves made Tuesday and confirmed by 9NEWS sources:

Waived

OT Quinn Bailey

CB Parnell Motley

WR De’Mornay Pierson-El

LB Barrington Wade

S Trey Marshall

DL Marquiss Spencer

RB Damarea Crockett

Released

DL Shamar Stephen

OT Cam Fleming

CB Nate Hairston

Physically unable to perform (PUP)

CB Essang Bassey

CB Duke Dawson Jr.

Trade away

WR Trinity Benson

Trade acquired

LB Jonas Griffith

It should be noted that the veterans Stephen and Fleming are expected to be cut for only one day. The team needs to put two younger players – running back Mike Boone and cornerback Michael Ojemudia -- on injured reserve after the first roster is set so they can return in three weeks. It's a league procedural matter.

Boone has a quad injury and Ojemudia has a hamstring. Both should be ready by game 4 of the regular season against Baltimore.

Those two players will go on IR on Wednesday – at which point Stephen and Fleming will likely be signed back to the 53.

"They'll return, definitely,'' Paton said.

Among those who made the initial 53-man roster were defensive lineman Jonathan Harris, undrafted rookie edge rusher Andre Mintze and 7th-round rookie cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. With Mintze, the Broncos now have had an undrafted rookie make their season-opening roster in 17 of the past 18 years.

The Broncos went 3-0 in the preseason and open the regular season on Sunday, Sept. 12. After missing the playoffs the previous five seasons and posting records of 5-11, 6-10, 7-9 and 5-11 the past four, there is optimism the Broncos will be greatly improved in 2021.

"I do like this football team,'' Paton said. "I thought it was really important to win games in the preseason. Winning's contagious. These guys want to win, they like to win, I think they're feeling it.'' 

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