Broncos going after former first-rounders
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP)
The Broncos sent an undisclosed 2013 draft pick to Philadelphia on Monday for the defensive tackle whose trade to Cleveland for a 2012 fifth-round pick over the weekend was scuttled.
Bunkley reported to Cleveland but did not meet all the conditions of the trade and was reverted to the Eagles, who managed to find a new suitor in Denver.
All trades are contingent on players passing physicals. Bunkley had an elbow injury last season.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said Bunkley was surprised by the trade.
''I think that he enjoyed it a lot here and I think part of the reason was this all shocked him,'' Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said. ''He was a first-round pick. I think he thought he'd be here for his whole career. I think he liked the kind of the energy that's going on here and he wanted to be a part of it.''
Bunkley had six sacks in 76 games in Philadelphia. He became expendable when the Eagles signed former Packers defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins.
Bunkley was picked 14th overall in the first round of the 2006 draft out of Florida State. He was a three-year starter before sharing time last year in Philadelphia, where he had six sacks and 144 tackles in his five seasons.
Bunkley isn't the only former first-rounder the Broncos acquired Monday.
They also signed defensive end Derrick Harvey, a former Florida star whose production never matched his potential after the Jacksonville Jaguars selected the defensive MVP of the 2006 Bowl Championship Series title game with the eighth overall pick in 2009.
''We wanted to get younger and more athletic,'' defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said. ''And I think the guys that we're bringing in give us that opportunity.''
Both Bunkley and Harvey are well-versed in the 4-3 defense the Broncos, who ranked last in the league in defense last season, are going back to after two years in the 3-4.
''Brodrick has been a strong, powerful guy inside, and Derrick has really been kind of the same way playing out at the end position,'' Allen said. ''So, I think just having some size and athleticism and some bulk to be able to play the run are two of their top qualities.''
Harvey tallied eight sacks in three seasons with the Jaguars, where he posted 88 career tackles and started 32 of 47 games, playing both right and left defensive end. He started 26 straight games for the Jaguars before his benching midway through last season.
He'll be looking to jump-start his career as a backup in Denver, where the Broncos are returning to the 4-3 scheme with Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers as the starters and Von Miller, the second overall pick in the draft, rushing the passer from the outside linebacker spot.
''Brand new start, brand new city,'' Harvey said. ''Three years in one city, sometimes it gets stale. So, you need a change to re-motivate yourself and just get your hunger back.
''I just turned 24,'' Harvey said. ''I mean, I ain't got to prove nothing to nobody. I'm just going out here and prove to myself I know where I was drafted and I know the hard work I put in before, I can still do the same thing and still have a good outcome at the end.''
Harvey said his tough time in Jacksonville ''helped me grow up to take the game a little more serious, be a better student of the game, take better care of my body, stuff like that.''
The Broncos also re-signed unrestricted free agent Marcus Thomas, who has played in every game during his four years in Denver, and moved Mario Haggan back to linebacker Monday after moving him to defensive end for the first four days of training camp.
Defensive tackle is the Broncos' biggest area of concern, and it's a position they didn't address in the draft that was deep at that position. Nor did they jump into the bidding for the high-priced veterans during the frenzied opening days of free agency.
Fells and Rosario are both fifth-year tight ends. Fells averaged 10.8 yards on 69 catches, including five touchdowns in 42 career games. He spent the past three years in St. Louis after playing in Atlanta.
Rosario spent his first four seasons in Carolina, where Broncos coach John Fox drafted him in 2007 out of Oregon. He's averaged 10.9 yards on 82 catches with five TDs in 62 career games.
''He's got good athleticism, he's a good route runner,'' Fox said. ''He probably had his best year in the NFL a year ago, so he'll add to that tight end competition.''
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this story.
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