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Understanding Why The Denver Broncos Released Juwan Thompson

The Broncos parted ways with Juwan Thompson, after more than two years with the team. But why did the team make the decision?

In one of the more surprising cuts that happened Friday, Juwan Thompson was waived by the Denver Broncos. The undrafted running back from Duke University had been a special team terror the last couple of seasons, while at the same time providing depth to the backfield. 

As I've stated previously, Thompson was miscast in a Denver offense that will have more fingerprints from head coach Gary Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison on it. With the newly re-signed C.J. Anderson, talented second-round draftee Devontae Booker, and the likes of Ronnie Hillman and Kapri Bibbs, it was going to be difficult to find carries for the big tailback. seemed like sliding over to fullback would provide new life to Thompson. With his speed and size, it would conceivably give him more opportunities to get on the field, in addition to being more of an offensive weapon on short fullback runs. Thompson has shown some pass-catching ability in his game and could have been used as a H-Back as well.

However, during the preseason it became evident that Thompson didn’t have the right parts to his game to make it as a fullback. While Thompson does have good size as a running back, he would have been a smaller fullback and that was obvious to see in his isolation blocking. Although Thompson was a willing lead protector and worked to the best of his abilities, he simply did not show enough production to be effective in that role, or to spell starter Andy Janovich.

Thompson always appeared to be a player that, with a combination of luck and being in the right place at the right time, could have been a very productive player for Denver. But injuries hurt his chances of showing what he could do with the ball in hand.

While a return to the Broncos may not be completely out of his future—should injuries bring down the numbers in the backfield—for the present, Thompson will be looking for work with another team.

Roster cut-downs are a funny thing. We all know that they are coming but when it's someone like Thompson, who has stuck around with the team for a few seasons, it shocks the fanbase nonetheless.

It further drives home the point of the cutthroat nature of the NFL that no one on any roster is guaranteed a spot. Getting fired from a job is difficult—its even harder getting fired from an NFL job, because of the way it is reported. 

From everyone here at the Mile High Huddle, we want to say thank you, Juwan Thompson. Hopefully your football journey continues somewhere where your talents will be put to good use. 

Adam Uribes is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @auribes37.

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