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Broncos release Darby, Glasgow, Edmonds, creating salary cap space

Darby played well before ACL injury; Glasgow dealt with litany of injuries
Colts Broncos Football
Posted at 2:23 PM, Mar 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-10 18:34:47-05

DENVER — Legal tampering in free agency begins Monday.

It requires money to spend. In advance of the frenzy, teams create salary cap space, involving business decisions with veteran players. The Broncos began that process on Friday, releasing former No. 1 cornerback Ronald Darby, starting center Graham Glasgow and reserve running back Chase Edmonds.

The moves creates roughly $26.5 million in salary cap space, and none of the players had guaranteed money left on his contract. Denver entered the offseason with $9.5 million in cap space for 2023, according to Over The Cap.

General Manager George Paton signed Darby to a three-year, $30 million deal with $19.5 million guaranteed to serve as the team's top corner before the 2021 season. Darby brought a Super Bowl ring, valuable experience, but struggled to stay healthy. He played 16 games for the Broncos, posting 67 tackles. Darby, 29, arrived with a goal of making his first Pro Bowl. After a disappointing first year in Denver, Darby put in extra work, showing up before practice to take reps on the JUGs machine to improve his hands.

Broncos cuts free up $26.5 in cap room

It was paying dividends early in the season before Darby tore his ACL in the Week 5 loss to the Colts on Oct. 6. Darby has not posted an interception in 35 games, but brings versatility in man and zone coverage when healthy. Rookie Damarri Mathis, following a forgettable debut against the Chargers, played well in Darby's absence opposite of All-Pro cornerback Pat Surtain II. The Broncos could look to add veteran depth at this position in free agency.

Glasgow never reached his potential with the Broncos because of a multitude of issues, missing time with COVID, an irregular heartbeat and broken ankle. He played through injuries, showing toughness, and found his way as the starting center last season. Glasgow signed a four-year, $44 million contract with $26 million guaranteed before the 2022 season. He was tasked with taking over at right guard. Eventually Quinn Meinerz took that spot, leaving Glasgow to shift to center after he restructured his contract before training camp. He appeared in 37 games before the Broncos, starting 33. Glasgow had $14 million cap hit with $3 million in dead money if released, so this move creates $11 million in cap room.

Edmonds never gained traction after joining the Broncos as part of the Bradley Chubb trade to Miami. Viewed as a third-down back, Edmonds suffered a high-ankle sprain in his second game with the Broncos. He was limited to five games for the Broncos, rushing for 125 yards and posting 61 receiving. Edmonds talked about possibly restructuring his contract at the end of the season to stay, but that was before the Broncos hired coach Sean Payton.

In essence, the Broncos traded Chubb to the Dolphins for Payton, given the pick was necessary to land the coach. There was hope that the Chubb move would clear money to sign defensive end Dre'Mont Jones, but he's likely to land elsewhere in free agency with the potential of making $18-$20 million per season.