Broncos cut Kevin Vickerson

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- To fill what was perhaps the tightest spot on the depth chart, the Denver Broncos released veteran defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson Saturday, the team announced.

The Broncos' depth in the defensive line, some concern over Vickerson's ability to stay on the field through the season, and the increasingly snug fit of their salary cap forced the Broncos' hand on a player who started 41 games for the team over the last four seasons.

In 2013, Vickerson started 11 games until he suffered a hip injury Nov. 24 against the New England Patriots. Vickerson spent the remainder of the season on injured reserve and had been limited in much of the Broncos' offseason work and early in training camp.

Vickerson played 39 snaps in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys. The Broncos are expected to keep just eight defensive linemen and it has been one of the most hotly contested spots on the roster in the preseason.

Following the Broncos' win in Dallas, Vickerson said: "I'm just trying to play hard and show that I still got it. I'm showing that I can still play this game at a high level. I'm just trying to seize the moment. They asked me to play, so I played. I'm just doing what's asked of me. We'll see what happens."

The Broncos, after a large spending spree in free agency this past offseason, had to consider the salary cap this time around as they made their final decisions on the 53-man roster.

Vickerson signed a two-year, $5 million deal last season and carried a $2.266 million salary cap figure for the season. His release gives the Broncos $1.766 million worth of cap room.