Broncos agree to 2-year deal with Wes Welker

DENVER (AP) - The Denver Broncos gave Peyton Manning a new target _ Tom Brady’s favorite receiver.

Wes Welker’s signing for $12 million over two years highlighted another busy day for the Broncos on Wednesday.

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.

Broncos boss John Elway was far from done, though, adding cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a one-year deal later in the evening.

Once again, the Broncos are being aggressive in free agency.

It worked so well last season when they won the high-stakes contest to sign Manning, which prompted Elway to joke, “Plan B? I don’t have a Plan B. We’re going with Plan A.”

Manning guided the Broncos to a 13-3 regular season finish, only to lose to Baltimore in double overtime during the division round of the playoffs.

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.

The Broncos are banking the same kind of relationship can blossom between their 37-year-old future Hall of Fame quarterback and his newest target, Welker, who is 31.

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.”

Although the deal with Welker received a bulk of the attention, the Rodgers-Cromartie, Bradley and Knighton deals could also influence Denver’s starting lineups.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player