Broncos in heavy pursuit of Wes Welker

Peyton trying to steal one of Brady's weapons; Broncos in "serious talks" with Welker

3/13/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

The situation between Wes Welker and the New England Patriots has been one of the most intriguing stories of the offseason, and a new twist has made it even more interesting. "Broncos in serious talks, trying to hammer out an agreement with Patriots WR Wes Welker. Decision expected today," said ESPN's Adam Schefter via Twitter.
Jan 13, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots receiver Wes Welker (83) during the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Texans 41-28. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
Welker is upset with the Patriots front office after they reportedly offered him substantially less money than he was expecting. In addition, Danny Amendola - a similar style player to Welker - has visited two undisclosed teams; some wonder if one of those teams could be the Patriots, which may have bothered Welker.

The story would be interesting enough if Welker simply went searching for the highest bidder in free agency, but the fact that the Broncos appear to be extremely interested makes the story all the better. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have a long rivalry as two of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL, and their teams are frequently among the favorites to win the AFC and make it to the Super Bowl. The Broncos and Patriots will be among the favorites to win the AFC once again in 2013.

Welker could give Peyton Manning a huge underneath weapon if he lands in Denver. He would be unlikely to produce the way he has in New England the past few years, as Manning loves throwing to Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, but he would still be a big part of the passing attack. If Manning could turn 36 year old Brandon Stokley into a viable slot receiver (he had 45 catches for the Broncos in 2012), just imagine what Manning could do with Welker.

The Patriots, on the other hand, would be dealing with an incredibly depleted receiving core if they lost Welker. Welker led the team in receptions in 2012, with Brandon Lloyd (who is expected to be released) in second. The wide receivers with the next most receptions were Julian Edelman with 21 and Deion Branch with 16 - both are unrestricted free agents.

Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe considers Welker ending up in Denver "very likely," though there is also speculation that Welker is using the Broncos' interest as a leverage play to get the Patriots more interested.

This is a story to follow closely, for the sake of both the Broncos and the Patriots.
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