Broncos acquire Engelberger

It's finally official. The Denver Broncos have acquired San Francisco 49ers defensive end John Engelberger in exchange for cornerback Willie Middlebrooks.

Engelberger, 6-4, 268 pounds, enters his sixth NFL season and has played his entire career with the 49ers, who selected him in the second round (35th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft. A four-year starter, Engelberger has posted 175 tackles (122 solo), 17.5 sacks (122.5 yds.), nine forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and four pass breakups in 78 career regular-season games (58 starts).

The 28-year-old Engelberger recorded a team and career-high six sacks (40.5 yds.) in 2004, starting 15 of 16 games played for the 49ers. San Francisco's leader with four forced fumbles last season, Engelberger finished the 2004 campaign ranked second in tackles among 49ers defensive linemen with a career-best 64 stops (34 solo).

He was a 16-game starter in 2003 and tallied a then career-high 4.5 sacks (31 yds.) to help San Francisco tie for fourth in the NFL with 42 sacks. Engelberger, who has missed only two regular-season games in five NFL seasons, was a key member of 49ers run defenses that posted a top-10 NFL ranking in three consecutive years from 2001-03.

Tabbed a second-team All-American by the Associated Press as a senior at Virginia Tech, Engelberger started every game at defensive end during his final collegiate season and recorded seven sacks. He also earned All-Big East Conference recognition in each of his last three years at the school after beginning his career with the Hokies as a walk-on.

A tight end and linebacker at Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, Va., John Albert Engelberger was born Oct. 18, 1976, in Heidelberg, Germany.

Middlebrooks was Denver's first-first-round draft choicein 2001 and was enjoying his finest season as a pro in 2004 before being placed on injured reserve Dec. 17 with a lower right leg injury.

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