The Denver Broncos finally released their 53-man regular season roster tonight and there were more than a few suprirses on there. It's still very possible that more moves could be made before their opening game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, September 9, but right now Broncos fans are pouring over the roster cuts to see who did/didn't get cut.
Cuts You May Be Upset About
* CB Drayton Florence - This might be the biggest surprise because the 10-year veteran cornerback was thought to be a key signing this offseason for the Broncos. Many expected this proven leader and veteran to be the third best cornerback on the field for the Broncos, but other younger players emerged. In dropping Florence, young guys like rookie Omar Bolden and fourth-year player Tony Carter will get more time on the field to develop. There's no doubt that some other team will go after Florence.
* DL Ben Garland - Garland is the Air Force graduate who was hoping to make the team in lieu of active duty in the Air Force. He was one of the better human interest stories on the team this preseason, but he never seemed to really stand out. He still has a chance to make the practice squad if he clears waivers because the Broncos still love the guy's motor and his attitude. He's a guy who just simply may need more time to develop.
* QB Adam Weber - Weber is one of those guys who I wish was already a few years further along in the league. To me, he still has the skill and the ability to be a quality backup in this league. Clearly the Broncos wanted a quarterback with game experience like Caleb Hanie on the roster despite the fact that many times Weber looked like the better passer. The Broncos just weren't going to keep four quarterbacks, and they no doubt are hoping like crazy that Weber clears waivers so he can be on their practice squad again. As much as I like the guy, I almost hope that Weber gets picked up by someone who will allow him a better chance to get on the field in the future.
Are You Surprised These Guys Didn't Get Cut?
* RB Knowshon Moreno - Moreno came into this training camp/preseason the odd man out in the backfield after being such a disappointment for fans the last three years. Throw in a recovery from a torn ACL last season, and a DUI in the offseason, and many (including myself) wondered if Moreno would even make it to the Broncos' training camp, let along the final 53-man roster. I think he's headed for a big year. If there's anyone who can figure out how to use a running back who works his best in the open field, it's Peyton Manning.
* LB Keith Brooking - I think Brooking is critical as a leader and as someone who will raise the intensity of this team. Yea, he's in his 15th year in the league and he's clearly lost a step and is currently nursing a hurt hamstring. However, the guy will raise the intensity in the linebacker corps where the Broncos are definitely a bit weak and perhaps too nice. Brooking could still very well end up getting cut in the near future if he doesn't keep himself healthy and perform well.
Julie is a featured NFL Contributor and writes about the Denver Broncos for the Yahoo Contributor Network. A lifelong football fan, she started following the Broncos upon moving to Colorado in 2001.