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March 05, 2010


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos on Friday agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent defensive lineman Justin Bannan and cornerback Nathan Jones, it was announced. As per club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“We are excited with these two additions and expect Justin Bannan and Nathan Jones to make positive contributions to the Broncos both on the field and in the locker room,” Head Coach Josh McDaniels said. “Justin will fit into our scheme very well, and having played his college ball at Colorado, he’s thrilled to return to this state as a Bronco. Nathan’s versatility in the secondary will make us better. He is a quality player who is eager to compete and make an impact on this team.”

General Manager Brian Xanders added, “Besides being a quality football player who is versatile, tough and smart, Justin Bannan is a quality person. He is the type of player we are looking for as we build our football team. Nathan Jones has experience playing outside cornerback, nickel cornerback and safety. He makes plays on defense and has been a core contributor on special teams.”

Bannan (6-foot-3, 310 pounds) is a ninth-year defensive lineman who played for Baltimore during the last four years after spending his first four NFL seasons with Buffalo. He was selected by the Bills in the fifth round (139th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft from the University of Colorado.

In 113 career regular-season games (27 starts), Bannan has posted 230 tackles (138 solo), 5.5 sacks (28.5 yds.), one interception, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He also has registered 12 tackles (10 solo) in five postseason games (2 starts).

During the 2009 season, Bannan played all 16 games for the second consecutive season and registered 37 tackles (23 solo) for the Ravens. He also appeared in both postseason contests for Baltimore, contributing one solo tackle.

Bannan started a career-high 15 games and appeared in all 16 contests for the Ravens in 2008, totaling a personal-best 56 tackles (30 solo), one sack, one interception and three pass breakups. His play helped Baltimore rank second in the NFL in total defense and third in the league against the run.

A four-year starter at Colorado, Bannan attended Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks, Calif., and was born on April 18, 1979.

Jones (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) is a seventh-year cornerback who appeared in every game during the last two seasons with Miami after spending his first four NFL seasons with Dallas. He was selected by the Cowboys in the seventh round (205th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft from Rutgers University.

In 83 career regular-season games (7 starts), Jones has totaled 104 tackles (91 solo), six sacks (34 yds.), three interceptions, 13 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He owns 53 career tackles on special teams and has returned 10 kickoffs for 178 yards (17.8 avg.).

The cornerback also has appeared in three playoff games for his career, registering two defensive tackles, four special-teams tackles and two kickoff returns for 45 yards (22.5 avg.).

Last season, Jones appeared in all 16 games for the Dolphins and registered career highs in games started (5), tackles (35), pass breakups (10), special-teams tackles (19) and forced fumbles (2). Jones, whose 19 special-teams tackles tied for 10th in the NFL, also added one sack with Miami in 2009.

A four-year letterwinner at Rutgers, Jones attended Fanwood High School in Scotch Plains, N.J., and was born on June 15, 1982.

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