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Broncos Sign Free Agent Defensive End Jason Hunter

Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post just tweeted that the Denver Broncos have signed defensive lineman Jason Hunter, formerly of the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

Hunter, a fifth year lineman out of Appalachian State had 34 tackles and five sacks for the Lions last year.  The 6-foot-4, 271 pound defensive end has some pass rushing ability, and could be a stop-gap for the loss of All Pro sack artist Elvis Dumervil, though filling those shoes could be near impossible. 

Hunter is 26 years old, and has played 56 games in his four years in the NFL, starting nine contests last year for the Lions.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz had this to say on the release of Hunter:

 “Jason played a nice role for us last year. I saw his reps get cut into and some other guys had passed him on our depth chart – so sort of out of fairness to him. He’s a veteran player and when he dropped out of our plans, rather than leaving him another two or three weeks to be out of our plans and to get mop-up duty and things like that, we decided to give him his release and let him try and catch on with another team. He’s a good, hard worker; he’s a really tough guy. He did a nice job for us last year, but our defensive line is in a little different position than we were in than last year.”

Seems like the Broncos got a nice pickup in Hunter, who has seven sacks in the last two season and is by all accounts a strong pass rusher who is just coming into his own as a player.  He is also known for his ability to play special teams, which will go a long way in helping him make the Broncos' final 53 man roster.