Broncos re-sign Elliss, Hape and Pope

The Denver Broncos have re-signed unrestricted free-agent defensive tackles Luther Elliss and Monsanto Pope and unrestricted free-agent tight end Patrick Hape.

Elliss, 6-5, 318 pounds, is a two-time Pro-Bowl selection (1999-00) who enters his 11th NFL season and second year with the Broncos after playing for Detroit from 1995-03. The Mancos, Colo., native has played 134 career regular-season games (119 starts) and recorded 462 tackles (272 solo), 29 sacks (195 yds.), eight forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 12 pass breakups.

The 32-year-old Elliss posted two sacks (11 yds.) and six tackles in eight games (0 starts) for Denver in 2004 before being placed on injured reserve Dec. 17 with a lower-back injury. Selected by the Lions in the first round (20th overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft, Elliss became a starter as a rookie and started 119-of-121 games played from 1995-02. He totaled 24.5 sacks from 1996-00, including a career-best 8.5 sacks (48.5 yds.) in 1997.

Elliss was a consensus first-team All-American and All-Western Athletic Conference selection as a senior at the University of Utah. An all-state choice in football at Mancos High School in Mancos, Colo., Elliss was born March 22, 1973, in Mancos.

Hape, 6-4, 262 pounds, enters his ninth NFL season and fifth year with the Broncos after playing for Tampa Bay from 1997-00. In 124 career regular-season games (21 starts), Hape has totaled 51 receptions for 287 yards (5.6 avg.) with 11 touchdowns.

A reliable blocker who excels in goal-line situations, the 30-year-old Hape ranked third on the Broncos in 2004 with four touchdown receptions while totaling eight catches for 35 yards (4.4 avg.) in 16 games (5 starts). Selected by the Buccaneers in the fifth round (137th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft, Hape has recorded all 11 career touchdown receptions within five yards of the end zone.

Hape played 47 career games (26 starts) in four seasons at the University of Alabama and posted 24 receptions for 321 yards (13.4 avg.) with one touchdown. An all-state selection in football at Brooks High School in Killen, Ala., Patrick Stephen Hape was born June 6, 1974, in Killen.

Pope, 6-3, 300 pounds, enters his fourth NFL season and has played his entire career with the Broncos, who selected him in the seventh round (231st overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft. In 46 career regular-season games (21 starts), he has totaled 78 tackles (57 solo), six sacks (32 yds.), three pass breakups and one forced fumble.

The 27-year-old Pope played all 16 games (15 starts) for Denver in 2004, notching a career-high 30 tackles (22 solo), one sack (2 yds.) and one pass breakup. Pope was a key reserve as a rookie in 2002, ranking fifth on the Broncos with a personal-best four sacks (16 yds.) in 14 games (1 start).

An honorable mention All-ACC selection as a senior at the University of Virginia, Monsanto Pope was born Jan. 27, 1978, in Norfolk, Va., and attended Hopewell High School in Hopewell, Va.

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