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Broncos parting ways with LB Randy Gregory

The Denver Broncos are parting ways with linebacker Randy Gregory, with coach Sean Payton saying the team is exploring trade opportunities before releasing the pass rusher.

“It was something that we felt was just best for our team right now, timing-wise,” Payton said Wednesday. “It hasn’t been finalized yet because typically before a transaction takes place, there may be some teams interested in a trade. … We felt like with some of our younger players and where we are going, it was best for our team right now.”

Payton said he expected an official transaction to be made within “24-48 hours” and said that Gregory did not request to be released.

“This was something we made and decided. You spend a lot of time on decisions like this,” Payton said.

Signed to a five-year, $70 million contract prior to the 2022 season, Gregory recorded nine tackles and a sack in four games (three starts) this year for the Broncos. He is slated to make a $14 million base salary this season, with $5 million in 2024 being fully guaranteed.

Nik Bonitto, 24, replaced Gregory as a starter in Denver’s 31-28 victory over the Chicago Bears last Sunday. He assisted in forcing a game-tying sack-fumble that was returned for a touchdown.

“It was a number of things,” Payton said when asked if the decision with Gregory was performance-based. “He played 30 snaps last week. We just felt like these other guys were playing better. It happens in this league. We want the best players possible. There was a combination of things.

“Those other guys stepped up, and we felt like they’re playing better.”

Gregory, 30, has totaled 106 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 60 career games (18 starts) with the Dallas Cowboys (2015-21) and Broncos. He was selected by the Cowboys in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

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