Depth makes Foxworth expendable

The Denver Broncos had good enough cornerback depth that they traded away Domonique Foxworth to the Atlanta Falcons for a late-round draft pick.

Foxworth is entering his fourth season, and had started 18 games for Denver. But Karl Paymah came on strong the last few weeks of camp and was sharing time as the nickel cornerback, and rookie Jack Williams played well enough that Foxworth was expendable.

"He's going to be able to start somewhere else," Paymah said. "We know this is a very talented secondary. You could have gone with 'Fox' or me, depending on what you're looking for. It's not a step down at all, it's just the way the organization wanted to go."

The Broncos also claimed Tennessee safety Calvin Lowry off waivers, which should help them on special teams and give them depth at safety. Foxworth had played some at safety each of the past two years.

Foxworth was re-signed as a restricted free agent this offseason, and would have been unrestricted next year. With the depth at cornerback behind Champ Bailey and Dre Bly, the Broncos decided to get something of value for Foxworth.

"What you try to do is put your best football team together," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "There's a lot of different scenarios, you could go a lot of different directions, and that's just the direction we decided to go in."

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--QB Jay Cutler had a marvelous preseason and looks on the verge of a big year. That doesn't mean he will start fast. Being without Brandon Marshall for the first game can't help, and he'll face an Oakland defense that gave him problems last year.

--RB Selvin Young got through the preseason without any problems, and played well in the third preseason game after a slow start. Based on the way Denver used its tailbacks in the preseason, Young probably won't get 20-25 carries a game, ceding some to Andre Hall.

--RB Andre Hall could put up some decent numbers right away. He has shared time in the preseason with Selvin Young, which could continue as the coaches try to keep both players fresh. He also appears to be the top choice for touches at the goal line.

--WR Brandon Marshall said he will try to stay sharp physically and mentally during his one-week suspension. Another positive aspect of his suspension being reduced is the layoff is so short it shouldn't affect his regular routine much.

--WR Darrell Jackson is still battling an ankle injury, but expects to play in the season opener. Jackson had been expected to start in Brandon Marshall's place, but that could be up in the air because of his injury.

--WR Keary Colbert had a good fourth preseason game, which could earn him more playing time in the season opener. The Broncos will have plenty of extra targets to spread the ball around with Brandon Marshall out.

--TE Tony Scheffler's role is still a bit of a mystery. He worked behind Nate Jackson for the entire month of August, but the Broncos still think he is a dangerous receiver. Denver might find creative ways to use him in the opener as Brandon Marshall sits out.

--K Matt Prater was solid through training camp and the preseason. He has a huge leg and because the Broncos offense should be productive, he has a chance to have a good year.

--LB Boss Bailey is still recovering from a high-ankle sprain. He doesn't know for sure if he'll be able to play, but said he plans to increase his activity in practice as the week goes on.

--DE Elvis Dumervil will likely play in Week 1, albeit with a cast on his right hand. He has a broken pinkie, and said he will need to figure out adjustments to play with it.

--S Marquand Manuel has a cast on his broken thumb, but there has been no indication that will keep him out of Monday's game at Oakland. Manuel is currently Denver's starting strong safety.



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