ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Bailey brothers are teaming up in Denver.

The Broncos on Thursday signed free agent linebacker Boss Bailey, the younger brother of perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey.

Boss Bailey , LB
Denver Broncos

Height: 6-3
Weight: 235
College: Georgia
Experience: 5

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The five-year contract is worth $17.5 million, including a $4.3 million signing bonus, reports NFL Network's Adam Schefter. Boss Bailey will receive $8 million in the first two years of the deal.

"I'm excited to have the chance to play with my brother, and I know that Boss' speed and versatility will have a great impact on our defense," Champ Bailey said. "I can't wait to get on the field with him."

Boss Bailey spent his first five seasons in Detroit, after being selected in the second round of the 2003 draft. He had a standout career at the University of Georgia, where he followed his older brother as an all-conference selection.

The 28-year-old linebacker has appeared in 58 games, including 51 starts, and has made 258 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions.

Last season, he had a career-best 3½ sacks and 47 tackles in 15 games.

A phone message left for his agent, Jack Reale, was not immediately returned.

The Baileys will be the fourth pair of brothers to play for the Broncos, and will join Dave and Doug Widell (1990-92) and Eldon and William Danenhauer (1960) as the only brothers to play for the franchise at the same time.

Although coach Mike Shanahan has said the organization is shifting its emphasis from free agency to the draft to fill its many needs after missing the playoffs two straight years, the Broncos shored up their linebacker corps with experience this week.

They already had signed free agent Niko Koutouvides, who will get a chance to start at middle linebacker, and waived Ian Gold, who spent seven seasons in Denver sandwiched around a season in Tampa Bay in 2004.

Boss Bailey will play strong side linebacker in Denver, and D.J. Williams will move back to the weak side after a year in the middle.

The Broncos also signed free agent receiver Edell Shepherd on Thursday. He spent the 2007 season out of the NFL after the Detroit Lions released him in late August.

Shepherd is a fifth-year player who's spent time on the rosters of Detroit, Houston (2006), Tampa Bay (2003-06) and Chicago (2002-03). He has 13 catches for 163 yards and one touchdown in 25 career regular season games.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.

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