Broncos sign free agent punter

The Broncos have signed free agent punter Hayden Epstein, a former Michigan collegian and Jacksonville draft pick. Epstein was acquired off waivers from Minnesota and will play in NFL Europe this upcoming season.


Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - The Denver Broncos Tuesday signed free agent punter Hayden Epstein, Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced. The Broncos have allocated him to play in the upcoming season of NFL Europe, but his team is yet to be determined.

Epstein, 6-2, 206 pounds, enters his second year in the NFL, after playing the 2002 season with Jacksonville and Minnesota. A seventh-round selection (248th overall) by Jacksonville in the 2002 NFL Draft, he was released by the Jaguars and claimed off waivers by Minnesota mid-way through the year. Last season, he was waived by the Vikings in final cutdown of training camp, and was out of football the rest of the year. While with the Jaguars, Epstein was a kicker who hit five of nine field goal attempts with a long of 34, and added 13 extra points for 28 points. For Minnesota, Epstein handled the kickoff duties for eight of the final nine games of the year before a knee injury ended his season.

A two-time finalist for both the Lou Groza and Ray Guy Awards as the top collegiate place kicker and punter respectively at Michigan, Epstein was named second-team All-Big 10 by the coaches and honorable mention by the media his senior year. Additionally, he set a school record by connecting on a 57-yard field goal against Michigan State.

Epstein earned two letters in football and four in soccer and basketball at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, Calif. As a senior, he was a Parade All-American as well as being chosen as the nation&rsquos top kicker by Prep Football Report and PrepStar, and highlighted his career with a 58-yard field goal in the California CIF Championship game. He was born Nov. 16, 1980 in San Diego, Calif.

Broncos News Links for Wednesday, February 18

Prep NFL path a puzzle - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - Hall of Fame linebacker and certified tough guy Sam Huff said: "The NFL is a man's game." But in the wake of a federal judge's recent landmark ruling allowing former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett to enter this April's NFL draft, the ultimate men's club must make room for a man-child. Now comes the tough question.

Jury weighs Broncos suit; judge rejects 1 of 3 claims - Denver Post - Kris Hudson
Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - The jury in the trial pitting former Denver Broncos owner Edgar Kaiser against current owner Pat Bowlen will continue deliberations today, but with one less charge to consider. U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch compelled Kaiser's lawyers to drop a claim that Bowlen fraudulently induced Kaiser in 1984 to sell the Broncos football team to him under false pretenses.

Okla. State, LSU coaches eye opening - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - LSU assistant head coach Kirk Doll today will become the second candidate this week to interview for the Broncos' special-teams coaching job. Oklahoma State special-teams coordinator Joe DeForest interviewed Monday, a Broncos source confirmed.

Broncos sign Epstein - Daily Camera
February 18, 2004 - The Denver Broncos signed punter Hayden Epstein on Tuesday, then allocated the free agent to NFL Europe. Epstein was a seventh-round pick by Jacksonville in the 2002 draft and he spent a portion of the season with the Jaguars and finished out the year with the Vikings.

Free Agency Preview: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends - - James Merilatt
Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - The new NFL season doesn't kick off with the draft, the start of training camp, the first preseason game or opening weekend. It begins on March 3 -- the first day of the 2004 free agent signing period. Starting that Wednesday, teams around the league can begin making offers to unrestricted free agents, adding pieces to their championship puzzle.

Remembering T.D.'s 2000-Yard Season -
Monday, February 16, 2004 - During the 1998 campaign Terrell Davis had a season for the ages when he gained 2,008 yards rushing and became only the fourth player in the history of the league to accomplish such a feat, (now five as Baltimore's Jamal Lewis joined the club this past year).

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