Wes Welker Signing: Broncos Went Luxury Route Over Need
The wave of twitter's amount of tweets, as the news traveled far and wide. Wes Welker signed a 2 year contract with the Denver Bronco's worth $12 million. There are also a few side benefits to this deal, to include a $150,000 incentive to catch 90 passes a season. Does this create a tip in the balance of the NFL with a new Dream Team in the making?
With Welker in the fold, Peyton Manning just acquired one more bold and powerful slot receiver, making the full range of Peyton's "go to team" seems like a dream come true. Welker joins the 1,000 yard receiving duo of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
What happens now? Over in New England, Batman (Tom Brady) is without his Robin (Wes Welker), after he restructured his contract to free up some money in the salary cap. Although, the Patriots did pick up some fine new talent. The fact that the Patriots let him go is shocking enough, but to let him go to a threat in the same conference is a huge win for the Broncos. Coach Fox is thrilled to have Wes on board, surrounding QB Peyton Manning with an arsenal of goodies. The evidence is looking good on tipping the scales of balance out of the Patriots hands.
Let's look seriously at some of the pro's and con's of the new duo.
- There is no disputing the value of a 5-time Pro Bowler like Welker, who has topped 110 catches in five out of his six seasons.
- At a reported $12 million for two seasons Welker's contract doesn't restrict the Broncos from continuing to shop around for more top free agency talent. By the same token it does not mortgage the future of the team.
- This one is all about Manning. He masters the middle, carving up the field to the hash-marks with short outs. Who's better than Welker at those moves?
- The Bronco's were the second highest scoring team (30.1) in the league following last season. They used lots of two tight end sets with Jacob Tamme and Joel Dresson. With Welker, Thomas and Decker in the mix, will they get away from what was already effective?
- It's still $12 million. The Broncos have questions lingering at linebacker, safety, and running back and need some girth on the offensive line, yet they grabbed another wide receiver. Seems more like a luxury pick than filling a need.
- Big Upgrade? Welker is stepping into the shoes of Brandon Stokley, a.k.a. the Slot Machine, who played for the minimum salary and by all standards was more efficient than Welker was on a per target basis. He carried a higher catch percentage and touchdown percentage and he often delivered more yards per catch.
The fact that Peyton Manning was a major part of the signing of Welker, one can wonder if he sees something there that he was missing even with the outstanding measure of his good friend Stokley.
The new dynamic forces of the Bronco's puts them on the top of the ladder for what looks to be a good run this season for them and the rest of the league.