The Denver Broncos on Monday acquired defensive lineman Le Kevin Smith from the New England Patriots in a trade that included undisclosed draft choices, it was announced.
The club also on Monday signed free-agent running back Marcus Thigpen and waived defensive lineman Rulon Davis along with guard Pat Murray.
Smith (6-foot-3, 308 pounds) is a fourth-year player who spent his first three NFL seasons with the Patriots, who selected him in the sixth round (206th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft from the University of Nebraska. He has played 31 career games (0 starts), totaling 25 tackles (12 solo) and one fumble recovery.
In 2008, Smith appeared in 15 games for New England and posted a career-best 21 tackles (10 solo) and one fumble recovery.
The defensive lineman played 49 career games (35 starts) at Nebraska, where he registered the seventh-most tackles for a loss (36) in school history. He posted at least 40 tackles in all four seasons with the Cornhuskers.
Honored as Georgia Player of the Year by USA Today at Stratford Academy in Macon, Ga., Smith was born on July 21, 1982.
Thigpen (5-foot-9, 193 pounds) is a rookie running back who joins the Broncos after he was waived by Philadelphia on Aug. 4. He entered the NFL with the Eagles on May 1 as a college free agent from the University of Indiana.
In four seasons with the Hoosiers, Thigpen became the first player in school history with more than 1,000 career rushing yards (1,621), receiving yards (1,028) and kickoff return yards (2,009). His 2,009 career kickoff return yards (81 ret., 24.9 avg., 3 TDs) ranked second in school history and fifth in Big Ten Conference annals.
He finished his career at Indiana with 4,658 all-purpose yards and 21 touchdowns, totals that ranked third and tied for eighth, respectively, in school history. As a rusher, Thigpen averaged 4.8 yards per carry (337-1,621) and had nine rushing scores.
Named a first-team All-American by ESPN.com at Indiana in 2006 after leading the nation in kickoff return average (30.1 yds., 24-723, 3 TDs), Thigpen attended Mumford High School in Detroit. He was born on May 15, 1986.