Posted Wed Mar 13th by Jon Heath
The Denver Broncos have agreed to terms with free agent wide receiver Wes Welker on a two-year deal, team executive John Elway announced via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.
The two-year, $12 million deal will keep Welker in Denver through the 2014 season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Since 2007, Welker has posted five 1,000-yard seasons and scored 37 touchdowns with the New England Patriots.
In Denver, Welker is expected to become quarterback Peyton Manning‘s slot receiver, with fourth-year receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker expected to remain with the team. In 2012, Manning posted franchise records with 4,659 yards and 37 touchdowns in Denver while Welker hauled in 118 passes for 1,354 yards and 6 touchdowns in New England.
The Broncos have experienced first-hand what Welker is capable of — he has caught 35 passes for 354 yards and 3 scores in six career games against them.
The move solidifies the Broncos as one of the top teams in the AFC after signing rival quarterback Tom Brady‘s favorite target. On Tuesday, Denver signed the San Diego Chargers‘ best offensive lineman, Louis Vasquez, to a four-year deal, crippling Philip River‘s offensive line.
These are the type of moves that will help the team reach the Super Bowl during Manning’s window, building up the Broncos’ roster while snatching up opponents’ top players. Denver’s 2013 opponents can be viewed here.