Broncos top 10: Worst free-agent signings

October 31, 2009
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During the Broncos’ 50th season, The Gazette will take a look back at some of the more memorable moments, players, games and plays over the team’s history, counting down a top 10 list every Sunday during the season.

10. WR Keary Colbert and LB Niko Koutouvides. The first two players signed in the 2008 class, they were expected to have big roles. Neither could crack the starting lineup. Colbert was traded after a few weeks and Koutouvides was cut after a year.

9. WR Eddie Kennison. It’s not that Kennison got a ridiculously large contract like some others on the list. But he’s forever known in Broncos lore for
leaving the team the night before a game in 2001.

8. WRs Andre Reed and Robert Brooks. Lump these two together because they were both once-great receivers that had nothing left when Denver signed them in 2000. Reed asked for his release before the season; Brooks caught three passes.

7. DE Simeon Rice. Rice came in with a lot of bravado. He never lost his confidence, but he couldn’t play, and his outspoken nature didn’t endear himself to Mike Shanahan. He was cut before his lone Broncos season was over.

6. DT Chester McGlockton. McGlockton was a force for the Raiders, and had some good years with Kansas City, but was at the end of the rope by the time the Broncos signed him.

5. DE Kavika Pittman. Pittman signed a seven-year, $28 million contract in 2000. He started with a seven-sack season, then had only one sack in his final two Broncos seasons.

4. CB Denard Walker. Walker signed a six-year, $26 million contract before the 2001 season. He made it two years before he was released.

3. RB Travis Henry. For a few weeks in 2007, Henry played well. Then he got hurt and involved in a battle with the NFL over a positive drug test (which he won) before he was released after repeatedly failing to show up for treatment the following offseason.

2. CB Dale Carter. The Broncos ignored Carter’s off-field issues and gave him a four-year, $22.8 million contract. He had a mediocre 1999 and then was suspended for all of 2000 after violating the league’s substance-abuse policy before he was cut.

1. DT Daryl Gardener. Tough to top Carter, but Gardener did it. For a contract that was about $35
million, the Broncos got 15 tackles, no sacks and one embarrassing fight in an IHOP parking lot. He was suspended by the team, and then cut after one season.

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