Middlebrooks returns with one-year deal

Willie Middlebrooks, who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for defensive end John Engelberger, has signed a one-year deal with the team.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos on Thursday signed cornerback Willie Middlebrooks to a one-year deal and signed former Adams State College (Alamosa, Colo.) punter Jeff Williams as a rookie free agent.br>
Middlebrooks (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) is entering his sixth NFL season and fifth year with the Broncos, who selected him in the first round (24th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft. Middlebrooks played his first four professional seasons with Denver before the club traded him to San Francisco on July 15 in exchange for defensive end John Engelberger.

In 56 career regular-season games (2 starts), Middlebrooks has totaled 23 tackles (22 solo), one sack (3 yds.), 12 pass breakups and one fumble recovery. He also has recorded 41 tackles on special teams in regular-season play and made one defensive tackle in his lone postseason appearance.

Middlebrooks played five games with the 49ers in 2005 in three stints with the club during the regular season after he was waived by San Francisco at the end of the preseason. He finished the year with three tackles, one pass breakup and two special-teams stops.

From 2002-04, Middlebrooks totaled 39 tackles on special teams with the Broncos. He started the first two games of his career in 2004, playing in 12 contests that season en route to recording personal bests in tackles (17) and pass breakups (10) while adding one sack (3 yds.).

Middlebrooks was a three-year starter and first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection in 2000 at the University of Minnesota, where he played 30 career games (26 starts). A first-team Class 6A all-state selection as a senior at Homestead High School in Homestead, Fla., Willie Frank Middlebrooks was born Feb. 12, 1979, in Miami.

Williams (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) set an NCAA Division II record for career punting average with a 44.9-yard average on 240 punts at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo. He received a total of 11 first-team All-America honors from various outlets in his final two years at Adams State and led NCAA Division II in punting average during each of those seasons. A four-time first-team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference choice, Williams recorded 80 career punts of 50 or more yards and 22 career punts of 60 or more yards. Williams, who also competed in the high jump event on ASC's track and field team, lettered in football, tennis, track and basketball at Skyline High School in Longmont, Colo. He was born March 26, 1983.

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