Broncos waive former 1st-round pick Moss
The Denver Broncos have released former first-round pick Jarvis Moss, who tallied just 3 1/2 sacks in 3 1/2 seasons.
Moss was released on Wednesday, the same day pass rusher Robert Ayers returned to practice for the first time since fracturing a foot against Baltimore on Oct. 10.
Moss was chosen 17th overall in the 2007 draft out of Florida but he never earned much playing time in his two seasons under Mike Shanahan's tutelage. He moved from defensive end to outside linebacker when Josh McDaniels arrived last year and implemented a 3-4 scheme but found no more success in that role.
''He wasn't drafted to play in this system necessarily,'' McDaniels said. ''He's been a great kid for us, done everything we've asked him to do, played in the kicking game. It just, it hasn't been a perfect fit. And we wish him the best and hope that he can find a place that better suits what he does.''
Much of Moss's playing time came on special teams, but his illegal block on a kickoff return negated a late touchdown against San Francisco in the Broncos' 24-16 loss in London last month.
In getting rid of Moss, the Broncos took a chance on another player who's had trouble moving from defensive end to outside linebacker.
The Broncos signed free agent David Veikune, a disappointing second-round pick from Hawaii last year whom the Cleveland Browns gave up on this fall.
The Browns used the No. 52 overall pick in last year's draft to select Veikune (VAY-coo-nay), a 6-foot-2, 257-pounder. But after playing in just 10 games last season, when he was a member of the Browns' outstanding kick return unit, Veikune showed little progress during training camp and the exhibition season this summer and was released.
Veikune said he had tryouts with the Titans, Texans, Dolphins and Eagles before impressing the Broncos in a workout Tuesday.
He said of his goals: ''First to get on the field, you've always got to get on special teams first and show them that, then you start to work your way up to defense.''
With Ayers returning to practice, the Broncos are finally getting healthy at linebacker, where they lost NFL sacks king Elvis Dumervil for the year with a torn chest muscle in training camp.
During Ayers' absence, the Broncos returned to the old 4-3 scheme with four down linemen and three linebackers. It worked beautifully against the Jets but was a bust against the Raiders. After their bye week, they went back to the 3-4 last week against Kansas City with Mario Haggan moving outside and Joe Mays taking over his inside linebacker spot.
Haggan recorded his first three-sack game of his career, Mays had his best game as a Bronco and pass-rusher Jason Hunter scooped up a fumble from Haggan's third sack and returned it for a 75-yard touchdown, the first score of his career.
Several players, notably Haggan, will be playing both inside and outside linebacker at practice this week while the Broncos gauge Ayers' health, strength and stamina.