The Denver Broncos on Wednesday signed unrestricted free-agent running back Michael Pittman, Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Broncos also on Wednesday waived fourth-year safety Marviel Underwood.
Pittman (6-foot-0, 228 pounds) is an 11th-year player who joins the Broncos from Tampa Bay, where he spent the previous six seasons (2002-07). The running back played his first four professional seasons (1998-2001) with Arizona after the Cardinals selected him in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 1998 NFL Draft from Fresno State University.
In 145 career regular-season games (78 starts), Pittman has totaled 5,307 rushing yards on 1,316 carries (4.0 avg.) with 21 touchdowns. He ranks second among all active NFL running backs (Tampa Bay’s Warrick Dunn) with 3,400 receiving yards on 415 catches (8.2 avg.) with eight scores.
The veteran stands ninth in the league among all active running backs with 8,707 career yards from scrimmage and owns 9,951 career all-purpose yards, having also returned 54 career kickoffs for 1,228 yards (22.7 avg.). Pittman has totaled 10 career 100-yard rushing performances, including 124 yards in the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl XXXVII victory against Oakland during the 2002 season.
With Tampa Bay in 2007, Pittman saw time in 10 games (3 starts) and rushed 68 times for 286 yards (4.2 avg.) while catching 26 passes for 191 yards (7.3 avg.). In 2005, he totaled 736 yards from scrimmage (436 rush / 300 rec.) and averaged an NFL-best 6.2 yards per rush (min. 50 att.) on 70 carries in 16 games (4 starts) on a Buccaneers team that won the NFC South.
Pittman registered career highs in rushing yards (926), rushing touchdowns (7) and receiving touchdowns (3) with the Buccaneers in 2004. During the 2003 season, he ranked second among NFL running backs with a personal-best 75 receptions for a career-high 597 yards while also chipping in 751 rushing yards in 16 games (13 starts) that year.
As a Cardinal, Pittman missed a total of just six games in four seasons. He led Arizona with 73 receptions in 2000.
Pittman finished his career at Fresno State ranked second in school history in career rushing yards (3,017). A first-team all-league pick at Mira Mesa High School in San Diego, Pittman was born on Aug. 14, 1975.