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

Tharold SimonOct 20 11:04p

Seattle Seahawks CB Tharold Simon (ankle) and CB Byron Maxwell (calf) may be able to play in Week 7, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

A.J. GreenOct 20 10:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) said he will play Sunday, Oct. 26, against the Baltimore Ravens, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Marcus GilbertOct 20 10:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert (concussion) is out for the remainder of the team's Week 7 game after being diagnosed with a concussion.

Ahmad BradshawOct 20 08:43p

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw is on pace for a combined 215 rushes and receptions and 1,753 total yards this season.

Devier PoseyOct 20 07:13p

The Houston Texans have declared CB Darryl Morris, WR DeVier Posey, LB Jadeveon Clowney, OT Jeff Adams, S Josh Aubrey, CB Jumal Rolle, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 7.

Kapri BibbsOct 20 07:13p

Denver Broncos RB Kapri Bibbs was attracting interest from other teams on the practice squad, and the Broncos elevated him to their active roster because they didn't want to [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 20 07:08p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is expected to be put through a rigorous workout Wednesday, Oct. 22, that will give team officials a better idea of where [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 20 07:07p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could start in Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys if he looks really good in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22, according to a [ More ]

Ike TaylorOct 20 07:03p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, LB Ryan Shazier, SS Shamarko Thomas, DL Steve McLendon inactive for Week 7.

Jadeveon ClowneyOct 20 07:03p

Houston Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney (knee) will not play in Week 7 because his lateral movement is not where the team wants it to be.

Kapri BibbsOct 20 06:53p

The Denver Broncos signed practice squad RB Kapri Bibbs to their active roster Monday, Oct. 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Daniel KilgoreOct 20 06:53p

San Francisco 49ers C Daniel Kilgore (leg) will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken bone in his left leg during the team's Week 7 game. [ More ]

Zach MillerOct 20 06:43p

Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller (ankle) will not be able to play in Week 8.

Derrick ColemanOct 20 06:23p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot) will miss at least six weeks because of a foot injury he suffered in Week 7.

Usama YoungOct 20 06:23p

Oakland Raiders FS Usama Young (knee) will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament in Week 7, according to a source.

S. RichardsonOct 20 06:13p

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released from the practice squad injured list with an injury settlement Monday, Oct. 20.

Rey MaualugaOct 20 06:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) is expected to miss a few weeks because of his hamstring injury.

Chris SmithOct 20 06:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Chris Smith was signed from the practice squad to the active roster Monday, Oct. 20.

Tom CrabtreeOct 20 06:03p

The New Orleans Saints re-signed TE Tom Crabtree to their active roster Monday, Oct. 20.

Vontaze BurfictOct 20 05:53p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (neck) did not suffer a concussion in the team's Week 7 game but did suffer a neck injury, according to a team official. Burfict [ More ]

Gerell RobinsonOct 20 05:53p

Carolina Panthers DB Robert Lester, Cleveland Browns TE Gerell Robinson, Dallas Cowboys DT Ken Bishop and LB Korey Toomer and Miami Dolphins DT Deandre Coleman cleared waivers and became [ More ]

Brandon CarrOct 20 05:43p

Dallas Cowboys CB Brandon Carr (hamstring) strained his hamstring in Week 7 against the New York Giants. Carr still played every defensive snap and should be able to play [ More ]

Austin PettisOct 20 05:43p

The St. Louis Rams waived WR Austin Pettis Monday, Oct. 20.

Vincent JacksonOct 20 05:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson's name came up over the weekend in reports that the team was fielding phone calls from interested teams, but head coach Lovie Smith [ More ]

Manti Te'oOct 20 05:23p

San Diego Chargers LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring), CB Brandon Flowers (concussion) and LB Manti Te'o (foot) did not participate in practice Monday, Oct. 20. CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and [ More ]

Matt RyanOct 20 05:23p

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan was sacked five times as the team's offensive line continues to struggle with injuries and poor play. 'We had way too much pressure,' head [ More ]

T.J. WardOct 20 05:03p

Denver Broncos CB Omar Bolden (concussion), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) didn't practice Monday, Oct. 20. S Quinton Carter (hamstring), CB Chris Harris Jr. (knee), RB Juwan Thompson (knee) and [ More ]

Cullen JenkinsOct 20 05:03p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) has a strained calf and is expected to miss at least two weeks.

Jake LockerOct 20 05:03p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) is scheduled to throw Tuesday, Oct. 21, and the team will see how he responds Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Brian HoyerOct 20 04:53p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer is still the team's starting quarterback even though he struggled in Week 7, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Ahtyba RubinOct 20 04:43p

Cleveland Browns DE Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) received a second option on his injured ankle. Head coach Mike Pettine said surgery for Rubin has not been ruled out.

Jason VerrettOct 20 04:43p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) missed his second game of the year in Week 7 with a shoulder injury, and his absence hurt the team in space against the Kansas City Chiefs.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group