It's being reported by just about everybody on Twitter that Wes Welker, after six seasons in New England, has signed a two-year deal to join the Broncos. He'll join a receiving corps that includes Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, which, jesus.
Despite restructuring Tom Brady's deal to free up cap money, the Patriots never seemed too intent on re-signing Welker. As of yesterday, Welker was still waiting on the Patriots' first offer. The Boston Globe's Greg Bedard says New England made a "last-ditch effort," but whatever it was, it wasn't enough.
(Adam Schefter says Denver got him for two years, $12 million. Even if all of that is guaranteed, it's mindblowing the Patriots wouldn't match. But New England needs corners, and Danny Amendola, a younger, cheaper version of Welker, is on the market. And the Patriots have made a habit of plugging in randos and making them stars, so don't write them off yet.)
Welker averaged 112 receptions a year in New England (with his fair share of drops), but players coming out of Bill Belichick's system have a history of underachieving elsewhere. Denver's not just anywhere else, though. He'll be catching balls from Peyton Manning, and won't be asked to be the first or even the second option. Skill position players, while great for headlines, rarely swing the balance of power. But with Baltimore losing just about everyone, the Patriots are now down a major weapon and the Broncos are up one.