The Broncos announced 12 cuts to meet today's 75-man roster requirement. There is one unexpected name here - Lonie Paxton, who spent three seasons as Denver's long snapper.
Also let go, but to no great surprise, were LB Elliot Coffey, WR Mark Dell, WR Cameron Kenney, TE Anthony Miller, DE Cyril Obiozor, RB Xavier Omon, S Anthony Perkins, T Mike Remmers, CB Ramzee Robinson, FB Austin Sylvester, and G Austin Wuebbels.
Paxton had been due to earn salaries of $925K in 2012 ($1.125M cap) and $940K in 2013 ($1.14M cap); his release will save Denver $725K against the 2012 cap and $1.125M off the 2013 salary cap.
Undrafted rookie Aaron Brewer will assume the long-snapping duties and join fellow San Diego State alum Ronnie Hillman on the roster. During the Broncos' first two preseason games, Brewer had been the primary snapper, handling that responsibility on four extra points, one field-goal attempt (a miss), and eight punts. He did not appear in yesterday's game against the 49ers.
Paxton first arrived in Denver as a strangely controversial signing, and a harbinger of things to come during Josh McDaniels's ill-fated and tumultuous tenure at Dove Valley. McDaniels brought Paxton along from New England, where he had played for nine seasons, signing him to a five-year, $5.38M contract. To make room for Paxton, the new coach released popular Broncos snapper Mike Leach.
Paxton's deal was for some reason portrayed as an exorbitant one, even if it put him in line with other veteran long snappers around the league. The Sacramento State alum was next heard from this past January, when he elected to miss the Broncos' playoff game against the Patriots to attend to his wife, then pregnant with twins.
While the Paxton/Leach swap had not had much of a financial impact, the Brewer/Paxton one will - the minimum salaries Brewer will surely be paid amount only to $390K in 2012 and $480K in 2013 - in total, less than Paxton would have made in either season.
Coffey, Miller, Remmers, and Wuebbels had been signed as rookie free agents following April's draft, while Obiozor and Robinson had been signed to future contracts in January. Dell was signed as an undrafted rookie in 2011, but spent the season on Injured Reserve.
Sylvester was on Denver's practice squad for much of 2011 and was promoted for the final game of the regular season following an injury to Spencer Larsen, who was released today by the Patriots. Larsen had signed with New England as a free agent this offseason.
Omon spent the latter part of 2011 on Denver's practice squad and signed a future contract with the team in January.
Earlier in the day, the Broncos placed DE Jason Hunter on injured reserve due to a torn triceps. Hunter joins RB Mario Fannin and WR D'Andre Goodwin on IR; Joshua Moore was waived from IR this weekend following an injury settlement.
Denver concludes their preseason on Thursday night in Arizona and will need to release 20 more players on Friday, with D.J. Williams and Virgil Green surely headed to the reserve/suspended list. Williams is already facing a six-game ban which may be extended due to his DWAI conviction, while Green is slated to miss four games.
The deadline to reach the 53-man roster limit is 9pm ET on Friday.