Denver Broncos rumors: Team to release Pro Bowl cornerback A.J. Bouye

By Vincent Frank
Sep 9, 2020; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback A.J. Bouye (21) stretches during practice at UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It was just last March that the team traded for former Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye. Now, several months later, Denver Broncos rumors point to a divorce between the veteran defensive back and the team.

According to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver, the Broncos have opted to release the 29-year-old Bouye. This comes after he played in just seven games with the team last season due to both injuries and a league-mandated six-game suspension stemming from alleged PED use. He has two more games to serve to open the 2021 season.

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Impact of the Broncos releasing A.J. Bouye

Broncos rumors: Team releases A.J. Bouye
Dec 6, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (11) runs against Denver Broncos cornerback A.J. Bouye (21) during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Sitting at $26.47 million under the estimated 2021 NFL salary cap, Denver clears a whopping $11.68 in cap space by releasing Bouye. It’s the first of many moves new general manager George Paton will make ahead of the start of free agency next month. That will include multiple veteran defenders.

It’s also key in that Denver must retain stud safety Justin Simmons before he hits the open market after placing the franchise tag on the Pro Bowler a season ago.

Related: Top 40 remaining NFL free agents of 2021

Denver Broncos rumors will point to more moves

Denver Broncos star Von Miller under criminal investigation in Colorado
Aug 21, 2020; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (58) during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It stands to reason that Denver will move off former Super Bowl MVP Von Miller after 10 seasons. Miller missed the entire 2020 campaign to injury and has a $22.23 option for 2022.

Fellow veteran defender, safety Kareem Jackson, has a $12.88 million option that’s unlikely to be exercised. Meanwhile, the Broncos can save another $11.87 million against the cap by releasing defensive lineman Jurrell Casey.

All of this could be to add a top-end quarterback to the mix with Broncos rumors continuing to suggest that they are looking to upgrade from Drew Lock under center.

The team was bandied about in Matthew Stafford trade talks prior to him being dealt from the Detroit Lions to the Los Angeles Rams. Denver is also seemingly in on Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson and could potentially make a play for Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers.

Moving on from Bouye was obviously the first step in creating the necessary cap room for the Broncos to improve this offseason after finishing the 2020 campaign in last place in the AFC West with a horrible 5-11 record.