ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos on Friday signed unrestricted free-agent tight end Daniel Graham to a five-year contract, Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced. As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Graham (6-foot-3, 257 pounds) is entering his sixth NFL season and joins the Broncos after spending the previous five years with New England. The Patriots selected the former University of Colorado standout in the first round (21st overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft.
Graham has played 63 career regular-season games (49 starts) and totaled 120 receptions for 1,393 yards (11.6 avg.) with 17 touchdowns. The 28-year-old has appeared in 11 career postseason games (6 starts) and owns two Super Bowl rings after helping the Patriots defeat Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII (2003 season) and Philadelphia in Super Bowl XXXIX (2004 season).
His blocking with New England helped the club rank fifth in the NFL in rushing touchdowns (51) over the last three seasons. As a 14-game starter for the Patriots in 2004, Graham blocked for running back Corey Dillon as he set a franchise single-season record with 1,635 rushing yards that marked the third-highest total in the league.
In 2006, Graham played 12 regular-season games (11 starts) and caught 21 passes for 235 yards (11.2 avg) with two touchdowns. His play helped New England capture the AFC East title for the fourth consecutive season and advance to the AFC Championship Game.
Graham set a career-high with seven touchdown receptions in 2004 that tied for the second most in the NFL among tight ends to go along with 30 receptions for 364 yards (12.1 avg.) that year. He recorded personal bests in receptions (38) and receiving yards (409) in 2003 as the Patriots won their first of two consecutive Super Bowls.
Graham was the recipient of the John Mackey Award (nation’s best tight end) and was a consensus first-team All-American as a senior at Colorado in 2001. In four seasons at Colorado, Graham posted 106 career receptions for 1,543 yards (14.6 avg.) with 11 touchdowns.
Daniel Graham is the son of former Broncos linebacker Tom Graham, who played 33 games (23 starts) in three seasons with the club from 1972-74. A PrepStar All-American as a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver, Daniel Graham was born Nov. 16, 1978, in Torrance, Calif.