In addition to bringing Welker on board, Denver also agreed to terms on a two-year deal with defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, formerly of Jacksonville, and a one-year contract with linebacker Stewart Bradley, who played with the Cardinals the past two seasons.
Once again, the Broncos are being aggressive in free agency.
Instead of sticking with the same cast, Elway is revamping the roster. Nothing too drastic, just adding some crucial pieces.
He picked up the league’s most productive receiver to play in the slot where Brandon Stokley was last season. Welker’s five 100-catch seasons are the most in the NFL. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his past five seasons and was an All-Pro four of the past five years.
“When you look at Wes in the middle of the field, you can’t cover him,” Elway said. “He does such a tremendous job of getting open, finding seams in zones, beating man-to-man coverage. So, he’ll be a huge asset for us inside.”
Welker caught 118 passes for 1,354 yards and scored six touchdowns last year, helping the Pats go 12-4 and make the AFC title game before they also fell to Baltimore. He developed quite a rapport with Brady during his six seasons with the Patriots.
That the Broncos are signing a top player away from Brady and the Patriots certainly didn’t hurt, either.
“Anytime you can take a player from a team you have to compete against, it helps, especially the caliber of Wes Welker,” Elway said. “New England is there year in and year out and that’s a team we have to beat to get where we want to get.”