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Stokley, Broncos reach deal

| Wednesday, March 21, 2007

DENVER (AP) -- Former Indianapolis Colts receiver Brandon Stokley has agreed to a one-year free agent deal with the Denver Broncos.

Stokley's agent, Rick Smith, confirmed the deal Tuesday. Smith didn't reveal how much the deal was worth, and the Broncos declined to comment on the agreement.

The Broncos also signed unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Alvin McKinley to a four-year contract Tuesday.

Stokley, who was injured much of last season, was released March 2 by the Colts. He also visited New Orleans before agreeing to the Broncos' offer.

Stokley played in just four games, catching eight passes for 85 yards and one touchdown last season. He was hampered by ankle and knee injuries and ruptured his right Achilles' tendon on Dec. 10 at Jacksonville, ending his season.

Mark Bartelstein, one of Stokley's agents, said Stokley's injury is progressing and he should be fully healed by training camp. Bartelstein also said Stokley's looking forward to playing in a Mike Shanahan-directed offense.

"It's a great opportunity," Bartelstein said. "He played for a great offense in Indy, and Shanahan is a great offensive mind. It's a great fit."

Stokley, 30, was the Colts' No. 3 receiver behind Pro Bowlers Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. In 2004, he was part of the first receiving trio in league history to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. Stokley finished that season with 68 catches for 1,077 yards and 10 TDs.

In his eight-year career, Stokley has 199 catches for 2,829 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Stokley will be an insurance policy for Rod Smith, who had surgery on his left hip on Feb. 26 and is expected to be out four months. Smith, who will turn 37 in May, had just 52 catches last season, his fewest since 1996.

Second-year pro Brandon Marshall is expected to start alongside Javon Walker.

Stokley also won a Super Bowl title with Baltimore in 2001, when he scored the Ravens' first touchdown in their 34-7 victory over the New York Giants.

McKinley, 28, played the last six seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He's played in 82 games in his career and has nine sacks. The Carolina Panthers selected McKinley in the fourth round of the 2000 draft out of Mississippi State University.

The signing of McKinley comes a day after the Broncos released defensive end Courtney Brown, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2000. Brown, who has a history of knee problems, missed the entire 2006 season after he was injured in training camp. He played two seasons for Denver.

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