2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Welker: No hard feelings toward Patriots

By EDDIE PELLS - AP National Writer
    2013-03-14 18:06

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Two days, $56 million. Yes, John Elway can handle the checkbook almost as nimbly as he once threw the football.

For the second straight offseason, the Broncos quarterback-turned-front office chief made as big a splash as anyone in NFL free agency. In the span of 48 hours, he added receiver Wes Welker and four more players - all with the single goal of getting Peyton Manning and the Broncos to the Super Bowl as soon as possible.

``I was probably the one pitching to him, trying to make this happen and everything else,'' Welker said Thursday about his discussions with Elway.

The subtext: At 31 and entering his 10th year in the league, Welker wants to win Super Bowls more than cash huge checks. He signed a two-year, $12 million contract - relatively modest for the most productive receiver in the league over the past six years.

And anyone who thought Elway would stand pat after a 13-3 season: ``They don't know John Elway,'' said former Bronco safety John Lynch.

``I love it,'' Lynch said. ``They're in it to win it. I think they're doing it prudently, too. Welker was a bargain.''

Many players, of course, are more willing to let a few million slide if they can play with a teammate of Manning's caliber.

Elway's successful pursuit of the four-time MVP ended up as the story of last offseason. Manning lived up to the hype, throwing for 37 touchdowns and 4,659 yards. But Denver lost to Baltimore in the divisional round of the playoffs. That, plus the reality that no roster remains the same from year to year in the NFL, put Elway on the clock again this year.

He treated free agency like one of his patented two-minute drills.

``It was quick,'' said guard Louis Vasquez, who had a contract with Denver only hours after the signing period began Tuesday. ``I didn't expect it to go as fast as it did.''

Welker, who has 768 career receptions for 8,580 yards and 38 touchdowns, was Denver's biggest signing. The former New England slot receiver is moving to Denver after his former team, the Patriots, offered him $10 million over the same timeframe.

No umbrage taken, Welker insisted, though he made a point of saying he'll miss Tom Brady.

``I'd definitely like to thank New England for the six years there, all the trust and everything they put in me,'' Welker said. ``As free agency kind of went on, I kind of got the feeling that it was time to start looking for other opportunities. Denver, I felt, would be a great fit for me.''

The other Bronco signings this week:

-Vazquez, four years, $23.5 million.

-Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, two years, $4.5 million.

-Linebacker Stewart Bradley, one year, $1.2 million.

-Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, one year, $5 million.

Also in their free agent flurry, the Broncos brought back safety David Bruton (three years, $4.5 million) and defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson (two years, $5 million). Add the franchise tag the Broncos put on tackle Ryan Clady for $9.8 million and the team has spent $65.5 million this offseason.

For many of the free agents, the temptation of winning a Super Bowl, combined with the Elway-Manning connection, was too good to pass up.

``You grow up watching these guys and then you actually have a chance to play for one of the greats and play under one of the top ones, too,'' Vasquez said. ``It's like a childhood dream. If somebody would have told me 10 years ago, `Hey, you're going to be a Denver Bronco playing for John Elway and Peyton Manning,' I would've said, `You're out of your mind.'''

Elway's most delicate task of free agency still remains. The Broncos have asked defensive end Elvis Dumervil to take a cut from the $12 million owed to him this season. If no move is made before the weekend, Denver will likely release him.

That decision will help shape the team's preparation for the draft.

The Broncos are still in the market for a big running back and possibly a safety, along with more depth on both lines.

Regardless of how the draft pans out, the Broncos and Elway came out of the early stages of free agency looking very much like winners.

``None of it's easy when you're dealing with people and the selection of human talent,'' coach John Fox said. ``I think it's like anything else - the harder you work at it, the better you usually do.''

---

AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton in Denver contributed to this report.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Sam BradfordApr 24 06:02p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota could be selected by the Philadelphia Eagles if the team could make trades with the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans, according to one draft rumor. [ More ]

Chris PolkApr 24 05:42p

Philadelphia Eagles restricted free-agent RB Chris Polk's tender offer has been rescinded by the Eagles, according to a source. Polk will become an unrestricted free agent and allowed to sign with any team.

Jaiquawn JarrettApr 24 04:52p

New York Jets restricted free-agent SS Jaiquawn Jarrett signed his tender offer Friday, April 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Hakeem NicksApr 24 01:42p

Free-agent WR Hakeem Nicks (Colts) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the Tennessee Titans Friday, April 24.

Justin BlackmonApr 24 12:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon is likely done with the Jaguars if he's reinstated into the league, in the opinion of beat writer Ryan O'Halloran.

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

Andre EllingtonApr 23 03:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington's (foot) injured foot is about 95 percent healed, and Ellington has not suffered any setbacks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

M. Jones-DrewApr 23 02:22p

Free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Raiders) will sign a one-day deal to retire as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars next Tuesday, April 28. He played nine seasons and rushed [ More ]

Victor CruzApr 23 02:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said he believes that he will be ready to play in the season opener next season and play like he did before he suffered the injury.

Justin TuckerApr 23 01:52p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent PK Justin Tucker has signed his one-year tender offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bear PascoeApr 23 12:52p

Free-agent TE Bear Pascoe (Falcons) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Thursday, April 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sam BradfordApr 23 01:53a

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Sam Bradford have yet to make significant progress on a contract extension sparking speculation the quarterback might be traded again, although head coach Chip [ More ]

Brandin CooksApr 22 11:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (knee) spent time training together with QB Drew Brees during the offseason in San Diego. 'Man, I love everything about him, his makeup, [ More ]

Greg JenningsApr 22 06:13p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Philip RiversApr 22 05:33p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be losing faith in the organization, according to NFL Network analyst and former Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson. 'The parts around him keep [ More ]

Jacques McClendonApr 22 04:13p

Free-agent OG Jacques McClendon (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Adrian PetersonApr 22 02:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not expected to be traded by the Vikings unless the team is overwhelmed by an offer from another team, according to a source. [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 22 02:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown said he is not participating in voluntary workouts because he is spending time with his newborn child. Brown said he will report to offseason [ More ]

Marvin LewisApr 22 11:33a

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension Wednesday, April 22. He's under contract through the 2016 season.

S. RichardsonApr 21 05:23p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released Tuesday, April 21, with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Adrian PetersonApr 21 01:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains a candidate to be traded, and a source close to the situation believes that if he isn't traded before or during the 2015 [ More ]

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group