NFL Free Agents 2013: Breaking Down Biggest Signings After Day 2

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 14, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 13:  Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball against the Houston Texans during the 2013 AFC Divisional Playoffs game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The free-agency portion of the 2013 NFL offseason has certainly started with a bang. Several high-profile names are finding new destinations, and at a fast pace. It's been only two days, but so many moves have been made.

Although the action wasn't quite as hot as when the market officially opened, Wednesday still featured its share of intriguing acquisitions.

Here is a breakdown of the day's biggest signings.


Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos

John Elway has enjoyed quite a successful tenure in the Broncos' front office to date, and that continued in a big way when he tweeted out the news about Welker on Wednesday.

Welker surprisingly left the New England Patriots after being Tom Brady's favorite target for years. Now, he will play with another quarterback in Peyton Manning who is in the discussion for best QB of all-time.

As the Boston Herald's Karen Guregian reported on Tuesday, talks between Welker and the Patriots went poorly, and ended just an hour after the 4 p.m. deadline for the market opening. That gave way to this unique opportunity.

It's hard to imagine many defenses being able to stop Manning, Welker, Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. The latter two big receivers emerged as one of the best combinations in the NFL in 2012, and Welker's presence is only going to help matters for all involved.

If the Broncos went 13-3 without Welker and most of last year's team intact, what could they do with him?


Dashon Goldson, FS, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A five-year, $41 million deal brought the 49ers All-Pro to Tampa (h/t, where he will team with Mark Barron to form a formidable safety duo.

ESPN's Mike Sando logged some interesting information that helps explain Goldson's decision to go. Parrag Marathe, chief operating officer of the Niners' organization, explained why Goldson had to walk despite how well-liked he was in San Francisco.

We have the most expensive defense in the league on an average per-year basis, and that is not sustainable over time...Because of the cap, if every veteran on the team took a 15 percent discount on their market value, you couldn't field that team still under the cap because the difference between wholesale [draft] and retail [free agency] is so wide.

Goldson is a hard hitter who is also very good in coverage, and his physical style of play should blend nicely with defensive-minded head coach Greg Schiano.

Before the Bucs can be truly comfortable on defense, though, a pass-rusher will be necessary as well as at least another cornerback. However, GM Mark Dominik took a big step in the right direction by acquiring Goldson on Wednesday.


Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions

Joel Corry of the National Football Post has the specifics on Bush's deal with his new team.

Bush had two productive seasons in Miami, but was on the way out after GM Jeff Ireland did not take any interest in re-signing him. Ireland really likes second-year running back Lamar Miller, and the Dolphins also have Daniel Thomas in the backfield.

The unraveling of Titus Young and a torn ACL for Ryan Broyles led veteran WR Nate Burleson to restructure his contract in an effort to bring in more help to Detroit. With a suddenly thin receiving corps, the addition of Bush is critical.

Not only has Bush proven himself as a runner in his time with the Dolphins, but he is also an exceptional pass-catcher out of the backfield.

The Lions had one of the league's worst rushing attacks last season despite the promise flashed by Mikel Leshoure. There will be healthy competition between Bush and Leshoure, but Jason Cole of Yahoo! indicated that Detroit offered Bush the starting job before agreeing to the deal.

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will love the flexibility Bush brings to the table, and his running ability should help to balance an offense that desperately needs to rely far less on the pass.