In need of roster spots following Wednesday's waiver claims, the Denver Broncos are parting ways with running back Royce Freeman.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Broncos are cutting the former third-round pick, per a source. The team has since announced the news.
In three seasons with Denver, Freeman averaged 4.0 yards per carry for 1,187 yards with eight touchdowns. He also caught 83 passes for 409 yards and another score. Much of his production came in his first two seasons in Denver, including eight starts as a rookie.
Last year's addition of Melvin Gordon took much of the pass-catching snaps away from Freeman. Denver selecting Javonte Williams in the second round in the 2021 NFL Draft signaled Freeman could be the odd man out. The Broncos will roll with a Gordon-Williams combo to head their backfield.
With dual-threat ability, Freeman should have little trouble finding a new home in a committee backfield.
Denver also signed Mike Boone this offseason, but the former Vikings' running back is dealing with a quad injury. Boone will land on IR and be out at least three weeks. Cutting Freeman indicates Denver is comfortable with Boone's rehab and believe they can lean on Gordon and Williams until the bruiser returns.
Freeman's release comes on the heels of Denver claiming running back Nate McCrary off waivers from Baltimore. The 6-foot, 213-pound Saginaw Valley State product signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent.
The Broncos also claimed defensive back/special teamer Mike Ford from Detroit.