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"Agreed to terms on a 2-yr deal with Wes Welker," Elway wrote. "Excited to have Wes join the Broncos. His production & toughness will be a great asset!"
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the deal will pay Welker $12 million over the next two seasons.
Welker, 31, received the franchise tag and a $9.5 million salary for the 2012 season and finished with a team-high 118 catches and 1,354 yards to go with six touchdowns.
As Profootballtalk.com's Michael David Smith notes, in his six seasons in New England, Welker was consistently one of the NFL’s best wide receivers, catching more than 110 passes in five different seasons. He has averaged 112 receptions during his six seasons as a Patriot.
He was also a fan favorite and a favorite of his teammates, and there was a great deal of talk in New England that one way or another, he and the team would find a way to get a deal done. But it didn’t happen. Welker and the Patriots disagreed on what kind of contract he was worth, and when Welker was still available 24 hours into free agency, the Broncos swooped in and made him the deal he was working for.
Now Welker leaves one AFC title contender for another, and leaves Tom Brady for Peyton Manning.
While leaving Tom Brady is obviously a big deal, landing with Manning helps cushion that blow for Welker, who joins an already potent receiving corps led by Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. The Patriots, who were believed to be courting former Ram Danny Amendola as a backup plan should Welker leave, will now be scrambling to restock their receiving corps.
Bottom line: The Broncos just got a lot more dangerous. And the Patriots are much less so. ... Stay tuned. More to come.