Alexander and Burns sign contracts

he Denver Broncos have signed unrestricted free-agent tight end Stephen Alexander and unrestricted free-agent linebacker Keith Burns. Alexander comes from the Detroit Lions and special teams ace Burns returns to the Broncos after a year with Tampa Bay.

Alexander, 6-4, 250 pounds, enters his eighth year in the NFL and joins the Broncos from Detroit, where he spent the 2004 season after playing for San Diego (2002-‘03) and Washington (1998-‘01). A Pro Bowl selection for the Redskins in 2000, Alexander has played 86 career regular-season games (70 starts) and totaled 208 receptions for 2,189 yards (10.5 avg.) with 11 touchdowns.

The 29-year old Alexander posted his third season with 40 or more catches in 2004 for the Lions, hauling in 41 receptions for 377 yards (9.2 avg.) with one touchdown in 16 games (15 starts). Selected by Washington in the second round (48th overall) of the 1998 NFL Draft, Alexander recorded a career-high 47 receptions as a 16-game starter in 2000 for the Redskins to earn Pro Bowl honors.

A second-team All-Big 12 Conference selection as a senior at the University of Oklahoma, Stephen Alexander was born Nov. 7, 1975, in Chickasha, Okla., and was SuperPrep's National Player of the Year at Chickasha High School.

Burns, 6-2, 235 pounds, enters his 12th NFL season and rejoins the Broncos for his 10th year with the club after playing for Tampa Bay in 2004. A special-teams standout, Burns has recorded 205 career tackles on special teams along with six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 167 career regular-season games (2 starts). Defensively, he has totaled 73 tackles (49 solo), 1.5 sacks (9 yds.), one interception (15 yds.), one forced fumble and three pass breakups for his career.

The 32-year old Burns appeared in all 16 games for Tampa Bay in 2004 to post a team-high 23 special-teams tackles and a forced fumble on the unit. He led Denver or tied for its team high in special teams-tackles during six of his nine years (1994-'98 and 2000-'03) with the team, including a career-best 24 special-teams stops in 2000 and ‘03. Burns, who was selected by the Broncos in the seventh round (210th overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft, played for Chicago in 1999 and ranked second on the Bears with 22 special-teams tackles.

A Football News second-team All-American as a senior at Oklahoma State University, Keith Bernard Burns was born May 16, 1972, in Greeleyville, S.C. He was a three-year letterman in football at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va.

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