- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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One of the more remarkable roster stories in the AFC West is the tale of Denver receiver Brandon Stokley.
Stokley is renewing his working relationship with quarterback Peyton Manning (they played together in Indianapolis for four years) and he is returning to Denver, where he was productive slot receiver from 2007-09.
Stokley is embarking on his return to Denver with his old friend at the age of 36. Stokley played just two games with the Giants in 2011 and he had one catch. He thought his career was over.
There is no doubt a major reason why Stokley is back in the league and back in Denver is the presence of Manning. The two had great on-field chemistry while with the Colts and they are close friends. Stokley worked out with Manning before Manning signed with Denver and Manning stayed at Stokley’s house when he visited the Broncos in March.
One of the reasons why Denver signed Stokley was his familiarity with Manning. Stokley helped Denver’s receivers acclimate to Manning’s style and approach. Still, it is somewhat of an upset that Stokley made the team.
Now that he did, expect him to play some in the slot and serve as a safety valve for Manning. Stokley told reporters in Denver on Monday that he is appreciative of the chance to be back with Manning and in Denver.
“I feel definitely blessed to be back playing with a quarterback of that magnitude,” Stokley said. “Spending four years with him and then leaving there and you kind of start to take for granted what you had there in (Indianapolis), so being a little bit older now, I appreciate everything a little bit more and know that you never know when you’ll get another opportunity like this.”
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