Broncos trade for another Gronkowski (no, not that one)

John Elway has announced that the Broncos have acquired fullback Chris Gronkowski from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for cornerback Cassius Vaughn.

According to Mike Klis, director of personnel Matt Russell was responsible for the deal, meaning the former CU Buff has essentially assumed the job of recently fired GM Brian Xanders, in addition to his own duties running the scouting department.

Chris is the middle of the NFL's three Gronkowski brothers; older brother Dan, currently a TE for the Cleveland Browns, was acquired by Denver in a trade for notorious Josh McDaniels draftee Alphonso Smith. Rob, the youngest and best of the trio, announced his presence as the NFL's preeminent TE in 2011 before going on to dominate the offseason as well.

In 21 games (seven starts) with the Cowboys and Colts, Chris has had five rushes for 17 yards, plus seven receptions for 35 yards and a single touchdown. Dallas originally signed Gronkowski as an undrafted rookie out of Arizona in 2010.

Denver had previously allowed fullback Spencer Larsen to sign with the Patriots this offseason, leaving Austin Sylvester as the only fullback on the roster until today. Yet the move is something of a surprise, in that Peyton Manning-led offenses have tended not to utilize a fullback.

As noted by Elway, the Broncos dealt Vaughn from an area of strength, what with the offseason additions of veterans Tracy Porter and Drayton Florence via free agency and rookie Omar Bolden via the draft to incumbent corners Champ Bailey and Chris Harris.

Denver signed Vaughn as an undrafted rookie out of Ole Miss in 2010, and the cornerback played in 22 games (three starts) for the Broncos. His two biggest plays both came at home against the Chargers: a 97-yard kick-return TD in the 2010 season finale, and a 55-yard pick six against Philip Rivers last season.

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Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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