Broncos hope to make impact


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Jan 22, 2006
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Broncos hope to make impact
By Bill Williamson
Denver Post Staff Writer

After re-signing their own key players, the Broncos' focus shifted to adding a few pieces to what the team believes is close to being a championship team.

With defensive tackle Gerard Warren and tailback Ron Dayne signed to new deals, Denver will concentrate on using its extra $7.5 million in salary cap room to get an impact player on both sides of the ball.

The names Denver may be most interested in are running back Jamal Lewis and defensive ends Andre Carter and John Abraham.

According to three NFL sources, the Broncos are planning to bring in Lewis, a 26-year-old standout from Baltimore, for a visit in the coming days. Lewis has had four 1,000-plus rushing yard seasons in six NFL seasons and rushed for 906 yards last season.

While the Jets' Abraham is likely to visit next week, the team is also trying to court San Francisco's Carter, the son of former Denver nose tackle Rubin Carter.

Carter was in Washington on Saturday night, and there were indications the Redskins were determined to reach an agreement before he left town. Carter also is getting interest from Oakland.

The Broncos' interest in Carter, who like Abraham is a pass- rush specialist, is another indication a trade for Abraham is not a done deal. Abraham, the Jets' franchise player, would likely command a long-term deal that would eat up at least $3 million to $4 million of Denver's salary cap for 2006. The Broncos have two first-round picks, the No. 22 and 29 selections, and could use one in a trade for Abraham.

In addition to Denver, Abraham is expected to visit Seattle, Atlanta and Cleveland. Oakland and Washington also have expressed interest.

If the Broncos don't sign Carter or Abraham, there's a chance they will begin the season with Ebenezer Ekuban as a starter alongside Courtney Brown, with John Engelberger and Corey Jackson as backups. Trevor Pryce, who signed with Baltimore on Saturday, was cut March 1.

Meanwhile, Denver will take a look at Lewis, who the team thinks would be a perfect fit for its running back system. Lewis is still negotiating with Baltimore, but there are indications he is intrigued by the Broncos. It could take a signing bonus worth $5 million to $7 million to get Lewis.

Denver, which will likely draft a tailback next month, is also monitoring Indianapolis' Edgerrin James, who was in Arizona on Saturday. But James will likely be more pricey than Lewis.

The Broncos also are looking at wide receivers, namely Pittsburgh's Antwaan Randle El and New England's David Givens.

The team also will consider Terrell Owens, who will be released by the Eagles this week. Owens, who visited the Broncos in January, will likely sign with Denver only as a last resort for him financially.
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