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Free Agent Deals With Colbert, K-Tou and Ekuban Become Official

The Denver Broncos on Monday signed unrestricted free-agent wide receiver Keary Colbert and unrestricted free-agent linebacker Niko Koutouvides, Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced. The club also re-signed defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban.

As per club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Colbert (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) is a fifth-year player who joins the Broncos after spending his first four seasons with Carolina, which selected him in the second round (62nd overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft from the University of Southern California. He has totaled 109 receptions for 1,424 yards (13.1 avg.) with seven touchdowns in 55 career regular-season games (42 starts) while adding three catches for 40 yards (13.3 avg.) in three career playoff contests (all starts).

The 25-year-old started 31 of his first 32 career games played and established Carolina franchise rookie records as well as career highs for receptions (47), receiving yards (754) and receiving touchdowns (5) in 2004. He owns two 100-yard receiving games for his career, including a personal-best 115-yard outing at Denver on Oct. 10, 2004.

Colbert, who had 32 catches for 332 yards (10.4 avg.) in 12 games (8 starts) for Carolina in 2007, was a key member of the Panthers' 2005 team that advanced to the NFC Championship Game. That year, he started all 19 games played by Carolina and finished the regular season with 25 receptions for 282 yards (11.3 avg.) with two touchdowns.

As a rookie in 2004, Colbert ranked sixth in the NFL and second among rookies in yards-per-reception average (16.0) among players with at least 45 receptions. Starting 15-of-16 games played, he set Panthers rookie records for receptions (47), receiving yards (754) and receiving touchdowns (5). His 754 receiving yards also marked the fifth-highest total among league rookies.

In four seasons at USC, Colbert became the Trojans' all-time leader in career receptions with 207 and was the third player in school annals to post two 1,000-yard receiving seasons. A two-time second-team All-Pacific-10 Conference selection, he also ranked third in USC history with 2,964 career receiving yards.

Colbert totaled 24 receiving touchdowns during his final two seasons at Hueneme High School in Oxnard, Calif. He was a second-team All-Ventura County pick as a senior.

He was born on May 21, 1982.

Koutouvides (6-foot-2, 238 pounds) is a fifth-year player who joins the Broncos after spending his first four seasons with Seattle, which selected him in the fourth round (116th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft from Purdue University. He has played 59 career regular-season games (2 starts), totaling 60 special-teams tackles, 52 defensive stops, one sack and one pass breakup.

Koutouvides' 60 special-teams tackles rank seventh in the NFL since he entered the league in 2004, and he led Seattle or tied for its team high in special-teams stops during three of his four seasons with the club. The linebacker helped the Seahawks join Indianapolis and New England as one of three clubs in the NFL to win their division in each of the last four years, and he was a member of Seattle's 2005 squad that played in Super Bowl XL.

In 2007, Koutouvides tied for fourth in the NFL with a career-high 20 special-teams tackles while posting two defensive tackles in 15 games played for Seattle. A year earlier, he appeared in all 16 games and tied for the Seahawks' lead with 14 tackles on special teams.

The 26-year-old saw time in 12 games in 2005, posting 10 special-teams tackles on a Seahawks team that went 13-3 and advanced to Super Bowl XL. As a rookie in 2004, Koutouvides registered a career-best 46 defensive tackles and one sack in 16 games (2 starts) for Seattle while leading the club with 16 special-teams tackles.

A first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection as a senior at Purdue, Koutouvides finished his collegiate career with 296 tackles (180 solo) and 23 tackles for losses in 50 games (32 starts). He helped the Boilermakers earn postseason bowl berths during each of his four seasons.

Koutouvides was an honorable mention all-state pick at Plainville High School in Plainville, Conn. He spent one year at Milford Academy, a postgraduate school in Milford, Conn., before enrolling at Purdue.

He was born on March 25, 1981.

Ekuban (6-foot-4, 275 pounds) is a 10th-year player who begins his fourth season with the Broncos in 2008 after they acquired him in a trade from Cleveland on March 30, 2005. He has played for the Browns (2004) and Dallas (1999-2003), which selected him in the first round (11th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft from the University of North Carolina.

Ekuban, who missed the entire 2007 regular season after he injured his right Achilles' tendon in Denver's preseason game at Dallas on Aug. 18, has played 107 games (64 starts) for his career. He owns 305 career tackles (205 solo), 31.5 sacks (167.5 yds.), eight pass breakups, seven forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries.

During the 2006 season, Ekuban posted a career-high 78 tackles (61 solo) for Denver and was second on the club with seven sacks (45.5 yds.) while starting all 15 games played. He saw time in all 16 games (4 starts) for the Broncos in 2005, a year in which they advanced to the AFC Championship Game.

The defensive end recorded a career and team-high eight sacks (35 yds.) as a member of the Browns in 2004. He was named All-Rookie by Pro Football Weekly with the Cowboys in 1999 after totaling 33 tackles and 2.5 sacks that season.
A first-team All-American as a senior at North Carolina, Ekuban had seven sacks and a school-record 23 tackles for losses during his final collegiate season.

Ekuban, who attended Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Md., was born on May 29, 1976.