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The Denver Broncos on Wednesday re-signed exclusive rights free agent punter Britton Colquitt, according to ESPN‘s Adam Schefter. Colquitt, 27, is entering his fourth season with the team.
Emerging last season as one of the more reliable punters in the league, Colquitt (6-3, 205 pounds), punted 101 times in 2011 (2nd) for 4,783 yards (1st) and 4,058 net yards (1st). Averaging 47.4 yards a punt (8th), Colquitt’s net punt average was 40.2 yards (9th). His 33 punts landing inside the twenty-yard line ranked 2nd and his long of 66 yards ranked 12th overall last season.
Though he was an effective tool for Denver’s special teams — often pinning teams deep in their own territory — the Broncos, and Colquitt, hope his right leg sees less action this fall. When quarterback Peyton Manning signed with the team last month, Colquitt “told him to help rest my leg a little this year,” according told CBS4‘s Vic Lombardi.
Last season, the Denver Broncos converted only 30.8% of their third down plays for first downs (20th overall). During Manning’s final season starting in Indianapolis (2010), the Colts converted 44.6% of their third down attempts, which ranked first overall in the NFL.
Since 2002, the Colts have ranked in the 10 top in 3rd down conversion every year, leading the category from 2005-2009. During the Colts’ 2006 Super Bowl run, the team converted 56.2% of their third down plays.
With Manning now in Denver, the team is hoping to not have to punt as often. When they do have to punt, they have a punter in Colquitt who can boot it — which is a nice scenario for Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy.
Colquitt was impressive last season and was close to getting a Pro Bowl nod. Denver was wise to bring him back for the 2012 season.