Former Broncos safety David Bruton Jr., who spent the first seven years of his career in Denver, announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday.
Bruton made his name on the Broncos as a key secondary reserve and as an essential special-teams player from 2009 to 2015. In that final season in Denver, Bruton received the most playing time of his career on defense and he ran with it, starting in three games, recording two interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one sack and seven passes defensed.
His final active game as a Bronco was one of his best and one of his most notable. Despite suffering a broken fibula in the first quarter against Pittsburgh in Week 15, Bruton played 95 snaps -- by far the most on the team that night -- and recorded six solo tackles and one pass deflection. Though Bruton finished the season on injured reserve following that game, his contributions that season helped push the Broncos on their path to Super Bowl 50 greatness.
But it wasn't just Bruton's role on the field that made him a special part of the Broncos. His endeavors in the community were some of the most impactful of any Bronco in recent history. He served as the Broncos' Fuel Up to Play 60 representative with the Western Dairy Association, encouraging children to be active and maintain healthy lifestyles, and he often represented the Broncos at community events.
Bruton also established the David Bruton Foundation and Bruton's Books, a program that aims to increase reading proficiency in the Denver area, particularly in low-income communities.
For his charitable efforts, Bruton was named the Broncos' Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2015 and was their top vote-getter for the NFL Players Association's 2015 Byron "Whizzer" White Award. He was also a three-time team captain.
The Broncos drafted Bruton in 2009 in the fourth round with the 114th-overall pick. In 2016 he signed with Washington and appeared in four games.