In a move that didn't come as a complete shock — considering the amount of quarterbacks and experience surrounding him — Turlock High and Fresno State standout Tom Brandstater was let go by the Denver Broncos on Friday, months before his second NFL season.
The reason for the release, coach Josh McDaniels told reporters, is to allow the remaining Denver quarterbacks to get enough practice time during the offseason. Having four QBs ate up too much of the repetitions, he said.
Brandstater said he understands the situation.
“I'm learning as you go you can't worry about things you can't control,” he said in The Denver Post. “I've enjoyed my time in Denver. The people were great, the fans were great; they've got a good team coming up. I will still be rooting for them, hopefully (while I'm) with another team.”
The Broncos have put Brandstater on waivers, meaning any interested teams can claim him.
But if no team does that, he'll become a free agent. It also means he'll have plenty of time to find a team before the 2010 NFL season begins in September.
Brandstater began to flourish as a quarterback at Turlock High, though his football playing days started with the Vikings of Turlock Youth Football. He then became the starting quarterback at Fresno State in 2006, after redshirting his freshman year and serving as Paul Pinegar's backup during his sophomore season.
Brandstater's college career peaked in 2007, when he threw for 15 touchdowns and 2,654 yards in the Bulldogs' 9-4 season that ended in winning the Humanitarian Bowl.
Brandstater was drafted by the Broncos in the sixth round of the NFL Draft in 2009, and he eventually became the third-string quarterback. Though his preseason's highlights included a start in which he led the Broncos to a shutout win against the Arizona Cardinals and their starting defense, he did not take a snap during the regular season.
And then came the offseason.
First, the Broncos released backup Chris Simms after trading for Brady Quinn, who became Denver's second QB behind starter Kyle Orton on the depth charts. After that, Coach McDaniels drafted the University of Florida superstar Tim Tebow with the 25th overall pick in the first round, immediately spurring questions about Brandstater's future.
The bevy of quarterbacks was troublesome in practice.
“With the way practice was going and the repetitions, we felt like it was clear now and was time for us to make the decision to not try and get everybody reps,” McDaniels told reporters Friday. “I thought this day would come at some point where we'd eventually end up going down to three, but we have seven practices, six now, to try to really work with the three that are left on the roster and give them the attention that they've earned.”
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