ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – The Denver Broncos released veterans Dekoda Watson, Zach Kerr and Nick Williams, the team announced on Monday. The moves to cut the two defenders were surprising.
Denver signed Kerr to a 2-year, $5 million deal. They also traded a 5th round pick to the 49ers for a 6th round pick and Watson’s services in the offseason.
Kerr, 28, entering his sixth season, was listed as Denver’s backup nose tackle when the initial depth chart was released about a month ago. He played the last two seasons with the Broncos, racking up 52 tackles and two sacks in 27 games.
Kerr’s release means DeShawn Williams is now the backup nose tackle. It also gives guys like Mike Purcell and DeMarcus Walker a better chance at making the final roster.
Watson, 31, was seen as a reserve outside linebacker and a special teams ace. With the improved play of rookie outside linebackers Justin Holland and Malik Reed, Watson became expendable. Unless Denver makes further changes to the roster, Holland and Reed will backup Von Miller and Bradley Chubb in the lineup.
Nick Williams’, 28, run at wide receiver with the Broncos was short lived. He signed with the Broncos on July 26, in the early weeks of training camp. Williams appeared in two games last season with the Tennessee Titans and two games with the Los Angeles Rams. He made two catches with the Rams for 17 yards.
With the release of Kerr and Watson, the Broncos will save $2.1 million in cap space. The extra cash could be used to sign an inside linebacker as starter Todd Davis continues to recover from his calf injury. The Broncos now have 87 players on the team and will cut down the final roster to 53 players on Saturday.
The Broncos wrap up preseason play hosting the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday at 7 p.m.