Wes Welker Reaches Agreement with Denver Broncos

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2013

Free-agent wide receiver Wes Welker is heading west, as the Pro Bowler has reached an agreement on a new contract with the Denver Broncos, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter:

Schefter added that Welker's deal is for $12 million:

Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway confirmed that it's a two-year deal for the veteran wideout:

NFL.com's Albert Breer shed light on the deal the New England Patriots offered in an effort to keep Welker. As CSN New England's Tom E. Curran notes, a source close to Tom Brady was furious that the franchise failed to put forth an extra $2 million to keep the Pro Bowl wideout:

Welker has been one of the best and most productive wide receivers in the NFL over the last six years. 

After spending his first two seasons as a No. 3/slot receiver with the Miami Dolphins, Welker emerged as one of the greatest weapons in the NFL with the Patriots. 

With Brady as his quarterback in 2007, Welker put up 112 receptions, 1,175 yards and eight touchdowns for a Patriots team that had an undefeated regular season and went to the Super Bowl before losing to the New York Giants. 

Proving that his breakout season was no fluke, Welker had 111 catches, 1,165 yards and three touchdowns in 2008 with Matt Cassel, who replaced the injured Brady in the first week of the season. 

As the years went by, and he kept putting up numbers, the debate about Welker's place in history began to take shape. He has only had one season since 2007 where he didn't catch at least 111 passes. That was in 2010 when he had 86.  

The Patriots devised a perfect plan to use Welker. Given his physical limitations at just 5'9", he was never going to be a downfield threat. Bill Belichick basically used him as a pseudo-running back to pick up grunt yardage. 

Since he will turn 32 in May, the window of opportunity for Welker to cash in on his success the last six years was rapidly closing. He was designated with the franchise tag last season.

In Denver, he'll pair up with Peyton Manning and a dynamic pair of receivers in Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas.