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Koutouvides, Colbert Sign Deals; Ekuban Re-Signs

Posted Mar 3, 2008

The Broncos announced the signings of unrestricted free agents Niko Koutouvides and Keary Colbert and the re-signing of Ebenezer Ekuban on Monday afternoon.

Sam Paulescu
The signings of unrestricted free agents Niko Koutouvides and Keary Colbert bolstered the two positions from which the Broncos trimmed players on Friday, while Ebenezer Ekuban's return provides some veteran leadership along the defensive line. PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES / ERIC LARS BAKKE
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By Andrew Mason

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- After a hectic first weekend of free agency around the league, the Broncos emerged with fortifications at the two positions from which they pared players on Friday afternoon -- wide receiver and linebacker.

Three days after that day's decision to release Javon Walker and Ian Gold, the Broncos officially announced the signings of unrestricted free agent wide receiver Keary Colbert and linebacker Niko Koutouvides, both of whom possess four years of NFL experience spent mostly as reserves.

Terms on the contracts were not disclosed.

Denver also announced the re-signing of defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban, who had been penciled in as a starter up front last summer before tearing an Achilles tendon in the second preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Terms of Ekuban's deal were also undisclosed.

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Colbert, late of the Carolina Panthers, has 109 catches for 1,424 yards and seven touchdowns in his career to date. He had 332 yards on 32 receptions with no scores last season as the Panthers struggled with injuries and instability at quarterback, starting four different passers (Jake Delhomme, David Carr, Vinny Testaverde and Matt Moore).

Koutouvides, who turns 27 on March 25, primarily handled special-teams duties for the Seahawks throughout the last four years. He started three games during the 2004 campaign -- two in the regular season and one in the playoffs.

Over his four years as a Seahawk, Koutouvides had 89 solo tackles, 22 assists and a sack. He also served as one of the Seahawks' team captains during the 2007 campaign.

Ekuban first joined the Broncos during the 2005 offseason and played extensively during the 2005 and 2006 campaigns, amassing 11 sacks and 119 total tackles during those seasons. He started four games in 2005 and 15 more in 2006, and was expected to retain his first-team role in 2007 before tearing an Achilles tendon during the second quarter of an Aug. 18 preseason defeat at Dallas.

The Ghana native spent the remainder of the season on injured reserve in rehabilitation work following the injury. He will turn 32 years old during organized team activities in May.