Xanders wastes no time on Broncos roster
ENGLEWOOD – Brian Xanders isn’t wasting any time reshaping the Denver Broncos’ roster.
The team released a half-dozen players Monday, led by high-priced defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson, who was set to count $16 million against the team’s $123 million cap.
“It’s a team’s sport. One person can’t take a huge burden against the existing framework of the salary cap. So, we’ll try to spread it around and figure it out that way,” Xanders said in his first public interview since his promotion from assistant GM last week.
Also released were linebackers Niko Koutouvides ($3.06 million) and Jamie Winborn ($2.25 million), safety Marquand Manuel ($1.33 million), defensive end John Engelberger ($2.18 million) and tight end Nate Jackson (less than $1 million).
Many of them might still have a job with the Broncos were Mike Shanahan not fired Dec. 30 after the team missed the playoffs for the third straight season.
“You never know. The only thing you can do is move on,” Manuel told The Associated Press. “We didn’t win enough, so it comes with the territory – for all of us.”
New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, 32, replaced Shanahan as Denver’s coach last month and Xanders, 37, was promoted to replace Shanahan as chief personnel man Thursday, not long after the Rams showed an interest in luring him to St. Louis.
Both men report directly to Bowlen.
In a wide-ranging interview, Xanders said he’s found a kindred spirit in McDaniels and he pledged a unified front office, insisting “there will be no disagreements” on player personnel decisions.
In that case, the two rookie thirty-somethings quickly agreed on reshaping their roster.
The moves Monday leave the Broncos with 13 players who will count more than $1 million against their cap next season, led by cornerback Champ Bailey ($13.67 million) and linebacker D.J. Williams ($11.6 million), defensive co-captains who spent much of last season on the sideline with injuries and are prime candidates for renegotiating their contracts.
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