Broncos, S Jim Leonhard agree to terms on 1-year deal

Leonhard is also a dangerous return man. (Getty Images)

Safety Jim Leonhard, who spent the previous three seasons with the Jets, has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Broncos, league sources tell CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora. He provides depth in the secondary some three months after Brian Dawkins announced his retirement, and days after Quinton Carter underwent arthroscopic knee surgery

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The former Wisconsin Badger underwent surgery in December after tearing a tendon in his knee. He began his NFL career in Buffalo in 2005, joined the Ravens for the 2008 season, then followed Rex Ryan to New York in 2009. Undersized, Leonhard was both tough and smart and routinely drew Ryan's praise. Here's what the Jets coach said in May about Leonhard's possible return to New York, shortly after the team signed Yeremiah Bell.

"Certainly one thing we know about Jim Leonhard is Jim Leonhard will do whatever it takes to be back physically," Ryan said. "You know he’s pushing himself.  I don’t think Jim Leonhard is done as a football player.  I think it’s a huge challenge for him.  Any time you’re overcoming a significant injury, it’s going to be a big challenge.  But I think we all know Jim Leonard, and I definitely would not bet against him."

On Friday, Leonhard visited the Bills but left without signing a contract. La Canfora reported that Leonhard would work out for the Broncos on Saturday and now he's the latest addition to a team that has undergone drastic changes this offseason.

In addition to Carter, who is expected to miss several weeks recovering from knee surgery, Leonhard will join second-year player Rahim Moore, who has been impressive early in training camp, and Mike Adams at the safety position.

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CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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