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A Decade Of Good And Bad Broncos Signigns

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Peyton Manning has been a great signing for the Broncos. Some have not gone as well through the year. Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images.
Peyton Manning has been a great signing for the Broncos. Some have not gone as well through the year. Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images.

A look at some of the best and worst free agent signings by the Denver Broncos through the years.

Best

QB Peyton Manning (2012 – five-year, $96 million)

Do we really need to explain this?

TE Jacob Tamme (2012 – three-year, $9 million)

Sure ,he only had two touchdowns, but he caught 52 passes for 555 yards. It might not be great numbers for a team’s No. 1 tight end, but the Broncos are getting Tamme for cheap.

WR Brandon Stokley (2012 – one-year, $925,000)

Just when we thought Stokley was done (he caught one pass for seven yards in 2011 with the Giants), he rattled off 544 yards and five touchdowns after signing a one-year deal with the Broncos. Maybe a certain quarterback had something to do with that.

S Brian Dawkins (2009 – five-year, $17 million)

Many thought his career was over after leaving Philadelphia, but the safety had three productive seasons with the Broncos before retiring.

WR Brandon Lloyd (2009 – two-year, $500,000)

Denver didn’t have much to lose when signing Lloyd, but gained plenty after the wideout ha a 1,448 yard season in his second year with the team.

LB Ian Gold (2005 – five-year, $22.5 million)

Gold played for the Broncos from 2000-2003, but left for Tampa Bay in 2004. Denver brought him back and after his return, he had three straight seasons with 70 or more combined tackles before retiring.

S John Lynch (2004 – three-year, $9 million)

This signing was much like the signing of Dawkins five years later. Many thought Lynch was done after leaving Tampa Bay, but the hard-hitting safety had four productive seasons with the Broncos, making the Pro Bowl all four seasons.

QB Jake Plummer (2003 – seven-year, $40 million)

The Broncos took a risk, signing Plummer to a seven-year contract. During his first year with the squad, Plummer played in just 11 games, but he more than made up for it in 2004, throwing for a career-high 27 touchdowns while leading Denver to a 10-6 record.

TE Shannon Sharpe  (2002 – seven-year, ­$750,000 per season)

The outgoing tight-end returned to Denver for the final two years of his career, and had back-to-back seasons with more than 60 receptions and 680 yards.

Worst

S Jim Leonard (2012 – one-year, $890,000)

The Broncos hoped Leonard could add some grit to their secondary, but that wasn’t exactly the case. Leonard finished with just 18 tackles during the 2012 season.

DE Jarvis Green (2010 – four-year, $20 million)

Six months after the Broncos signed Green to a four-year, $20 million contract, Denver cut him. The deal included a $2.5 million signing bonus. Ouch.

RB LenDale White (2010 – two-year, $1.5 million)

White signed with the Broncos in 2010, but never played in a regular-season game after tearing his Achilles tendon during a preseason game.

LB Boss Bailey (2008 – three-year, $17.5 million)

Champ’s little brother was signed to a three-year $17.5 million contract, but the linebacker wasn’t able to stay healthy, playing just six games with the Broncos before retiring.

RB Travis Henry (2007 – five-year $22.5 million)

Henry played just one season and ran for 691 yards after signing a five-year, $22.5 million contract. And now he’s bankrupt. That doesn’t make sense.