George Paton makes first big move as Broncos GM by releasing AJ Bouye

Denver Broncos

DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 14: A.J. Bouye #21 of the Denver Broncos breaks up a pass intended for A.J. Brown #11 of the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter of a game at Empower Field at Mile High on September 14, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

DENVER (KDVR) — Broncos General Manager George Paton made his first big move Wednesday with the release of cornerback AJ Bouye. 

Now that his feet are wet, he will need to go deeper into the pool to address the roster.

The release of Bouye frees up $11.7 toward the Broncos’ 2021 salary cap. According to Spotrac, the team is estimated to have $39 million in cap space. That cap space doesn’t count Justin Simmons and Phillip Lindsay. 

Simmons, who played on the franchise tag in 2020 ($11.4 million) can be tagged again in 2021 if a contract isn’t reached. That, however, comes at a cost: the team must pay 120 percent of the player’s previous salary.

Lindsay, the undrafted running back from Colorado, is a restricted free agent. The Broncos could place a second-round tender on Lindsay (one-year, $3.2 million contract). 

“I want to be put in the best situation,” Lindsay told “Nick and Cecil” on 104.3 The Fan. “I just need to be put in position at times where you can get the pulling guards and you can get the screens, the draws. That stuff accelerates a running back, especially my type.”

Lindsay’s situation is complicated due to Melvin Gordon’s upcoming DUI trial and how Paton views his running backs – powerful, like the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook (5’10”, 210 pounds) or like speedy like Lindsay (5’8″, 190 pounds). Lindsay rushed for 502 yards in 2020, catching just seven passes in 11 games.

Finally, there is Von Miller. The All Pro linebacker missed the 2020 season with a dislocation to the peroneal tendon in his ankle during a non-contact drill in practice. The Broncos have a team option that must be exercised by the first league day of the 2021 league year (March 17). If exercised, Miller will receive his $17.5 million contract.

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