Broncos get punter, may get receiver

A trade that brought punter Todd Sauerbrun to the Denver Broncos dominates today's news reports. Also - experts and players weigh in on the possible acquisition of the NFL's all time leading receiver Jerry Rice.

Experts: At what price Rice? - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
05/20/2005 - Weighing the pros and cons of signing a once-great but diminished athlete is the Broncos' order of business as they ponder whether to add Jerry Rice to their roster. According to several veteran Broncos players, while Rice is not the player he once was, he still could provide valuable leadership. Two pro personnel directors contacted Thursday gave mixed reviews on the value of signing the game's all-time leading receiver.

Broncos get their punter in Sauerbrun - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
05/19/2005 - Coach Mike Shanahan wasn't kidding when he said he would improve the Broncos' special teams. The Broncos finally pulled the trigger on a long-rumored trade on Thursday and acquired Todd Sauerbrun, the Carolina Panthers' three-time Pro Bowl punter. In exchange, the Broncos sent punter Jason Baker and their seventh-round pick in the 2006 NFL draft to Carolina. Although controversial, there is no question Sauerbrun can punt. From 2001-03, Sauerbrun led the NFC in punting, becoming the only player since the NFL merger in 1970 to lead a conference in gross punting average for three consecutive seasons. Sauerbrun owns a 44.0-yard career gross average and a 35.9 net average.

This deal has a kicker - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
May 20, 2005 - The deal to bring three-time Pro Bowl punter Todd Sauerbrun to the Denver Broncos finally is complete. But there is a chance headaches that could be associated with the acquisition might only be beginning. Sauerbrun, sent to the Broncos on Thursday by the Carolina Panthers for a seventh-round pick in the NFL draft next year and incumbent Denver punter Jason Baker, still does not have the revised contract with an up-front payout his agent sought before the deal. So far, the Broncos are not rushing to the phone to do anything beyond picking up the final three seasons of Sauerbrun's contract.

Rice would be welcomed - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
May 20, 2005 - A decision on whether Jerry Rice joins the Denver Broncos is at least a day away, but three of the team's veterans on Thursday endorsed a possible move to obtain the NFL receiving great. "He's won Super Bowls, been to Pro Bowls, put up 20,000-plus yards," cornerback Champ Bailey said. "Come on. I want him on my team." Safety John Lynch and linebacker Al Wilson echoed that sentiment. "You can never have enough leaders, simply because every year is younger guys coming in, especially at the wide receiver position," Wilson said.

Sweet on Sauerbrun - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, May 19, 2005 - As it was from the moment the Broncos brought their former special-teams captain back, a focal point of the offseason continues to be special teams. Denver's offseason overhaul of the kicking and return units continued Thursday when the Broncos acquired three-time Pro Bowl punter Todd Sauerbrun from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for punter/kickoff specialist Jason Baker and a seventh-round selection in next year's NFL Draft. The two-time Pro Bowler spent four seasons with Carolina, where his career blossomed. From 2001-03, he led the NFC in gross-punting average at 44.6 yards per kick, making him the only man to ever lead either conference in gross average for three straight years.

The Topic of Conversation - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, May 19, 2005 - When Thursday dawned, the horde of media present at the Broncos' headquarters buzzed because of the report on and the NFL Network that Head Coach Mike Shanahan had spoken to the NFL's all-time leader in every career receiving category, Jerry Rice. So it was obvious that the idea of Rice perhaps joining the Broncos would become a magma-hot conversation subject when three of Denver's recent defensive Pro Bowlers met the media Thursday following quarterback-camp practice at Dove Valley. But Rice's name wasn't on the tip of tongues in the Broncos' locker room.

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