Denver Broncos punter Sam Martin can breathe a sigh of relief.
When the team signed undrafted punter Max Duffy last month, it seemed that Martin could be on his way out. The move would save the Broncos some money and Duffy, who has a cannon for a leg, could seemingly have done exactly what Martin was doing, if not more.
Instead, the Broncos have decided to already move on from the 2019 Ray Guy Award winner, handing the job over to Martin well before training camp even starts.
The Broncos signed wide receiver/return specialist De’Mornay Pierson-El following a tryout earlier in the week and waived Duffy to make room on the roster. Pierson-El most recently played for the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL before getting a shot with the Las Vegas Raiders last summer.
Linebacker Natrez Patrick had to be carted off the field earlier in the week with an apparent leg injury. He was waived with an injury settlement and his roster spot was given to wide receiver Amara Darboh.
The Broncos seemed to be high on Patrick and he was a player with an outside chance of making the 53-man roster for added depth. When the Los Angeles Rams waived him back in February, the Broncos jumped on him.
If Patrick goes unclaimed on waivers, the Broncos could revert him to injured reserve and keep him on the team.
Darboh was drafted in the third round of the 2017 draft by the Seattle Seahawks and now joins an overcrowded wide receiver room, that also includes Pierson-El.
Patrick’s injury was unfortunate and was the reason the team had to move on from him, at least for the time being. The move to waive Duffy is a bit of a surprise, as it seemed he would battle Martin for the job all through the preseason.
Despite special teams coach Tom McMahon speaking highly of Duffy lately, that was not to be.