The Denver Broncos are parting ways with cornerback A.J. Bouye so as to create added salary cap flexibility.
Denver acquired Bouye from the Jacksonville Jaguars last offseason, but the former Pro Bowler suited up for just seven games. The Broncos will cut bait as they hope to re-sign other impact defenders like safety Justin Simmons and edge rusher Shelby Harris.
We’ve released CB A.J. Bouye.
📰 » https://t.co/jmCZhX4zMs pic.twitter.com/csHHAixMuj
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) February 10, 2021
#broncos are releasing CB A.J. Bouye per source. He was set to make 13 million this year. Clears a good amount of space.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) February 10, 2021
Bouye suffered a shoulder injury in Week 1, landing him on Injured Reserve. He suffered a concussion in Week 8 and was later suspended six games for violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The 29-year-old produced mixed results even when healthy. Bouye had six passes defended, but his missed tackle percentage rose, and opposing passers had a quarterback rating of 108.4 when targeting Bouye in coverage.
Releasing Bouye was a pretty obvious move for the Broncos. The move does not carry a dead-cap penalty, and will save over $13 million in cap space, per Over The Cap. It would not be a surprise if Denver followed this move by cutting defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, who played just three games and is another whose contract does not have a dead-cap hit in 2021.
Most of the questions surrounding the Broncos involve the team’s future at the quarterback position. Cornerback Kareem Jackson even suggested last week Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson had interest in coming to Denver. But free agency is every bit as imperative for the Broncos.
Denver needs to create as much space as possible in order to re-sign Simmons, who should have a large market as perhaps the best safety in all of football. The Broncos also face a decision on franchise icon Von Miller, who is unrestricted.
Bouye might be just the first of multiple cuts.