De'Vante Bausby makes Broncos' 53-man roster

More than 1,000 National Football League players anxiously and nervously waited to learn their fate on Saturday — the day that NFL teams had to cut their squads down to 53 players.

But De'Vante Bausby wasn't among them.

"I already knew a week ago," Bausby said in a telephone conversation Saturday night. "(Saturday) was peaceful. I spent it sleeping and chillin' and not doing too much."

Bausby, former all-MIAA defensive back at Pittsburg State, has made the Opening Day roster for the Denver Broncos. He's listed No. 2 at right cornerback behind Bryce Callahan on the depth chart.

While Bausby, 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, has been signed twice by the Kansas City Chiefs and spent parts of two seasons with both the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles, this is the first time he will be active for a season opener. Why was he confident he would make the cut?

"My playing time the last two preseason games," he replied. "This last game I didn't play at all. The game before that I played about 10 plays. They told me we're going to start you for 10 plays and shut you down. I knew what was going on after that."

This is the second professional league that Bausby will play in during 2019. He played in the new Alliance of American Football for the San Antonio Commanders, and he led the league in interceptions (4) and passes defensed (10) when the league folded after eight games.

"Playing eight games, nine including the preseason, having the rhythm and getting reps in multiple games under my belt were a great benefit," Bausby said.

After the AAF's demise, Bausby signed with the Broncos on April 8.

"The coaches here were the same ones I had in Chicago," Bausby said. "That helped me on deciding where I wanted to go, where I wanted to play. It was a competition (during preseason camp), and I won it."

Bausby played for Pittsburg State from 2011-14, accumulating 127 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 6.5 quarterback sacks, 11 interceptions and 30 pass breakups and earning all-conference honors his junior and senior seasons. After college he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chiefs in 2015 but broke his collarbone in June and was cut.

He was signed by Chicago in December 2015, and the next year he spent part of the season on the practice squad before playing in four games where he recorded 11 tackles. He was waived by the Bears on May 1, 2017, signed by the Chiefs again two days later but never played in a game before being released on Sept. 2.

Ten days later he was signed to Philadelphia's practice squad the year the Eagles won Super Bowl 52. In a transaction-filled 2018, he was signed three times and released twice by the Eagles before playing in six games when he made 14 tackles.

Bausby, who turned 26 on Jan. 15, did not become discouraged despite being released so many times.

"I knew I had it in me," he said. "For some (players) things happen right away. For others it takes a little time. This is a great opportunity, and now it's time to play."

The Broncos open their season next Monday night at the Oakland Raiders. And as AFC West rivals, the Broncos have two games against the Kansas City Chiefs — Oct. 7 in Denver and Dec. 15 at Kansas City.

Bausby is a Kansas City native and was a three-time all-state selection at Hogan Prep School.

"It doesn't matter at all," Bausby said with a laugh. "Not at all."

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