Broncos reach agreement on 5-year deal with TE Graham
DENVER ” Former Denver linebacker Tom Graham didn’t need to sway his son, Daniel, to sign with the Broncos.
The big contract and the opportunity to play back in his hometown were incentive enough.
The Broncos reached an agreement with Daniel Graham, the former University of Colorado star, on a five-year, $30-million deal that includes $15 million in guaranteed money.
A team spokesman said he could not comment. The agreement was disclosed by a person familiar with the deal who requested anonymity because it had not yet been signed.
Tom Graham played for the Broncos from 1972 to 1974, but his son used him only as a sounding board as he explored the free-agent market.
“I stayed out of it,” the father said. “It was his decision. We’re excited about it, though.”
What it means to Tom Graham is no more cross-country flights to watch Daniel play for the New England Patriots. The father can simply venture down the road to Invesco Field from his Denver home.
Daniel Graham returns to his hometown ” he attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver ” as one of the highest-paid tight ends in the league. His father thinks it’s a good investment by the Broncos.
“He’s very tenacious, doesn’t take a play off,” Tom Graham said. “He’s earned his money. I think he will earn it in the future.”
Daniel Graham, 28, had been with New England since the Patriots drafted him with the 21st pick in the 2002 draft. He caught 120 passes for 1,393 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Patriots.
The 6-foot-3, 257-pound Graham was a first-team All-America in 2001 for the Colorado Buffaloes. He also won the John Mackey Award given to the nation’s best tight end. He finished his career at Colorado with 106 catches for 1,543 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The Broncos have been active this offseason, signing running back Travis Henry to a five-year deal Monday with $12 million in guaranteed bonuses.
Henry rushed for 1,211 yards and seven touchdowns last season for Tennessee.
Denver needed a running back after sending last season’s leading rusher, Tatum Bell, to Detroit for cornerback Dre’ Bly. The Lions also got offensive lineman George Foster and a fifth-round pick, and the Broncos picked up a sixth-round pick.
And they acquired defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson from Miami on Saturday for a sixth-round pick in next month’s draft and signed offensive lineman Montrae Holland to a one-year deal.
The team also agreed to a deal with fullback Paul Smith.
The Broncos also traded quarterback Jake Plummer to Tampa Bay on Saturday for a conditional draft choice in 2008. Plummer has indicated on a Web site that he plans to retire instead.
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