Colbert's journey out of Denver is swift

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Six months ago, Keary Colbert was prognosticated to be the Denver Broncos' No. 2 receiver opposite Brandon Marshall.

Today, he is on his way to Seattle as an emergency answer to its injury-ravaged receiver crops.

On the second day of free agency, Denver pounced on Colbert, a player they were clearly targeting. Despite falling off in Carolina since a promising rookie season in 2004, the Broncos saw something in Colbert. They thought he could start.

Then, Denver signed veteran Darrell Jackson later in the spring and then drafted Eddie Royal in the second round of the April draft.

Suddenly, all bets on Colbert were off in Denver.

Jackson, along with No. 3 receiver Brandon Stokley provided strong depth and Royal showed the ability to start from his very first minicamp. Colbert seemed on the outside looking in during the minicamp season. The trend didn't change during training camp when Royal further showed he was the real deal and Stokley and Jackson showed they were ready to play key roles.

Toward the end of the preseason, Colbert went from a projected starter to someone who was playing at the end of meaningless games in Denver. During the days before the final roster cut down, there was speculation that Colbert would be cut.

Colbert's remarkable falling out of favor (it was all on the field, he never was a problem off the field) in Denver culminated Tuesday with his trade to the Seahawks. In a matter of six months, Colbert went from a free-agent priority to an afterthought in Denver.

UPDATE: According to a source close to the situation, Denver is considering replacing Colbert on the 53-man roster with veteran receiver Cliff Russell. He was one of Denver's final cuts in August.