Broncos May Be Forced to Cut 2009 Second-Round Pick

One of the ramifications of the Denver Broncos holding a roster spot for injured Pro Bowl outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil is that unless they plan one man down at the linebacker spot, which is difficult for 3-4 teams to do, they'll need to keep one less player at another position group.

Another is that they may not be able to keep an additional player at another position group.

Dave Kreiger of the Denver Post writes that with eight of the anticipated nine defensive back positions accounted for, head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Brian Xanders may need to make a decision between 2010 seventh-round pick Syd'Quan Thompson and 2009 second-round pick Alphonso Smith.

Thompson has 2 tackles and an interception, which he returned 48 yards for a touchdown. Thompson also leads the NFL this pre-season with a 25.8-yard punt return average, and has made two special teams tackles.

During the 2009 NFL Draft, Denver sent a 2010 first-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks--which was used to select Texas safety Earl Thomas--to move to the 37th pick to select Smith, who totaled 14 tackles and three passes defensed in 15 games as a reserve last season.

This summer, Smith has 9 tackles, including one for a loss, and a pair of passes defensed, but Kreiger suggests Smith may not have a role in the team's nickel or dime packages.

As the 225th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Thompson's four-year, $1.846 million contract included a $56,850 signing bonus. The Broncos signed Smith to a four-year, $4.83 million contract that included a $2.15 million signing bonus, but the $750,000 in remaining guarantees are for injury only, making Smith an appealing waiver-wire claim.

McDaniels and Xanders will likely find a spot for both, and not merely to save face. Smith may never live up to the freight paid to acquire him, but he's got talent and may just need more time to develop it.

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