Perrish Cox waived by Broncos

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos waived Perrish Cox on Saturday, cutting ties with the cornerback who is facing a sexual assault trial later this year.

General manager Brian Xanders indicated it was Cox's on-field performance and not his legal issues that led to his departure.

"Everybody coming out of that lockout, it's their job to create their role," Xanders said. "No roster spot is safe. His was based on the four preseason games, the five weeks of training camp. It's unfortunate to make a cut like that when he'd started for you before, but the coaches talked to him about what he needs to improve on for his career. It's unfortunate we let a draft pick go like that."

Cox's agent, Jordan Woy, tweeted Saturday that "any teams looking for a good, young CB should jump. Good starts under his belt."

Cox started nine times as a rookie last year and was the backup to right cornerback Andre' Goodman this summer, but he played poorly in the final preseason game Thursday night at Arizona.

Despite struggling early in camp covering the slot receiver, Cox came on strong over the last couple of weeks and his roster spot seemed secure after second-year cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson was lost for the season with a torn Achilles tendon Thursday night.

Cox was among two dozen players cut by the Broncos, who placed three others on injured reserve, including Thompson, Saturday.

Several Broncos players are expected to testify in Cox's trial, which is scheduled for later this year.

Cox faces one count of sexual assault against a victim who was physically helpless and one count of sexual assault against a victim who was incapable of determining the nature of the conduct. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $50,000 bail.

If convicted, he could face two years to life in prison.

Cox expressed confidence several days ago that he was going to make the team despite his legal issues.

The former Oklahoma State standout was thrust into the starting role last year because of injuries. Opposing quarterbacks challenged him often and he showed flashes of his potential, batting away 14 passes and coming down with one interception. But he also made mistakes and gave up big plays.

Cox was arrested last December. For months, the arrest affidavit in the case remained closed as Cox's lawyer fought to keep it sealed. The document was unsealed by court order in July and it said Cox was linked by DNA to the alleged sexual assault victim.

Another notable second-year defensive back was cut by the Broncos. Kyle McCarthy had a spectacular camp coming off major knee surgery and was strong safety Brian Dawkins' backup.

Other holdovers from last season who were waived included guards Stanley Daniels and Eric Olsen, wide receiver Britt Davis, tight end Dan Gronkowski and kicker Steven Haushka.

Recently acquired receiver/returner David Anderson and tight end Dante Rosario were released. Rookie wide receiver Eron Riley, who had three catches for 144 yards against the Cardinals, and seventh-round draft pick Jeremy Beal of Oklahoma, were waived.

By virtue of their franchise-worst 4-12 season last year, the Broncos own the second waiver wire claim behind Carolina and will sign several players cut by other teams this weekend. They're especially in need of backup linemen and also would like to add depth to both their offensive and defensive backfields.

The Broncos can establish a practice squad of up to eight players Sunday and would like to bring back quarterback Adam Weber, whom they waived Saturday.