Broncos News Briefs - Thursday, July 14

A proposed trade of Denver Broncos cornerback Willie Middlebrooks for San Francisco defensive lineman John Engelberger is near, according to reports in today's news.

Middlebrooks to 49ers close - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
07/14/2005 - The Broncos continued discussions with the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday that could bring yet another defensive lineman, John Engelberger, to Denver. The 49ers were finalizing a background investigation of Broncos cornerback Willie Middlebrooks before completing the deal, which could be finalized today. The Broncos would receive Engelberger, a second-round pick in the 2000 NFL draft, in return for Middlebrooks, the overall No. 24 pick in 2001. Robert Lattinville, Engelberger's agent, said he was told Wednesday his client likely will be on his way to Denver in exchange for Middlebrooks today.

Depth makes Middlebrooks expendable - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
07/13/2005 - The Broncos and San Francisco are discussing a deal that would send former first-round pick Willie Middlebrooks to the 49ers as early as today for an undisclosed veteran player. The 49ers, who are in need of a backup cornerback, are investigating Middlebrooks' off-the- field behavior before finalizing a deal. The Broncos' top pick in 2001 was arrested in January on misdemeanor domestic violence charges. Middlebrooks has an Oct. 11 trial date. He had a court hearing Monday. "Everything is on hold before we talk any further. We want to know we're chasing a good guy," 49ers coach Mike Nolan told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. "We want to make sure it was a bad choice and not a character issue." Nolan said a trade was "50-50."

Putzier: Continuing to Build - Denver - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - Jeb Putzier has history on his side. The tight end switched to his current position from wide receiver just four years ago, but the Broncos have a lengthy track record of cultivating the delicate transition from nimble pass catcher to brawny utility man. The role of the tight end has changed drastically over the years with an emphasis on route running added to blocking duties, but the Broncos have been ahead of the curve in developing such versatile players. Former tight end Shannon Sharpe was a converted receiver. So was Billy Miller, Byron Chamberlain and Desmond Clark. The team has extended that streak with Putzier, who had a breakout season in 2004, catching 36 passes for 572 yards and two touchdowns. He had played in only seven games in the two previous seasons.

A cleaned slate - Denver Post - Terry Frei
07/12/2005 - In retirement, Red Miller, 77, often is found working in his Denver yard or finishing up a home-improvement project. These tasks don't involve "honey-do" mandates from his understanding wife of 15 years, Nan, because if absolutely nothing needed to be done, Miller would find something. Hey, why not resurface the garage floor? Build a brick walkway? Or as was the case Monday, begin constructing an additional flagstone patio in the back corner of the yard? Miller doesn't do leisure well.

Kanell: Taking Challenges As They Come - Denver - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - With two eager quarterbacks entering their second training camp with designs on the No. 2 quarterback slot, Danny Kanell has had scant time to pause on the field. That's been just as true off of it, as well. A few days of business training from the prestigious Wharton School of Business, another follow-up Wharton session this past weekend in San Francisco, and a wedding left Kanell's offseason schedule overflowing with life-altering activity. "I wouldn't have it any other way," Kanell said. The same is true of his situation on the field. Fellow backups Matt Mauck and Bradlee Van Pelt do not posess Kanell's volume of regular-season, game-action experience, but their youth coupled with one year of experience in the Broncos' system puts long-term potential in their corner. But that doesn't cause the veteran Kanell to fret one bit.

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