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

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

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