Sauerbrun back in the fold

Todd Sauerbrun

The Denver Broncos have reacquired unrestricted free-agent punter Todd Sauerbrun. He returns to the team with a one-year contract.

Sauerbrun (5-foot-10, 215 pounds) is a three-time Pro Bowl choice who enters his 13th NFL season and second stint with the Broncos, whom he played for during the 2005 season. Selected by Chicago in the second round (56th overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft, Sauerbrun spent 1995-99 with the Bears and also has played for Kansas City (2000), Carolina (2001-04) and New England (2006).

The only player since the NFL merger in 1970 to lead his conference in gross punting average for three consecutive seasons (2001-03), Sauerbrun owns a 44.0-yard career gross average and a 36.0 net average. He has played 164 career regular-season games, punting 842 times for 37,008 yards while placing 250 punts inside the 20-yard line and kicking off 385 times for 24,722 yards (64.1 avg.) with 53 touchbacks.

Sauerbrun, who was released by Denver on Oct. 10, played the final two games of the 2006 regular season and three playoff contests with New England after the Patriots signed him Dec. 22. As a Bronco in 2005, Sauerbrun ranked eighth in the NFL in gross punting average (43.8 yds.) and punted 72 times while placing 24 punts inside the 20-yard line to help Denver advance to the AFC Championship Game.

In 2004 with Carolina, Sauerbrun ranked fourth in the NFL with a 44.1-yard gross punting average and boasted a 37.5 net punting average for the fifth-highest mark in the league. Sauerbrun was selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls with Carolina from 2001-03, and his 9,154 punting yards and 46.5-yard gross average posted from 2001-02 ranked as the third and fourth best consecutive-year totals, respectively, in NFL history.

Sauerbrun also became the first punter in 15 years to lead the NFL in punts (104) and gross punting average (45.5) in the same year for Carolina in 2002.

Sauerbrun ended his four-year career at West Virginia University as the NCAA?s all-time leader in career gross punting average (46.3 yds.). He was a three-time first-team All-Big East Conference selection for the Mountaineers.

Sauerbrun, who attended Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, N.Y., was born Jan. 4, 1973.

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