Wes Welker is leaving the Patriots. After six seasons and 672 receptions in New England, Welker has agreed to a two-year deal with the Broncos, according to two league sources. The Patriots made a late run at retaining Welker, but it likely was too late after their initial contract offer was well below what the receiver was expecting.
The Welker camp and Patriots spent considerable time making nice to each other and talking about a future together from the end of the season until the week before free agency. When a contract offer did come from the Patriots, however, it was well below where the two sides had been last year. The offer read like the Patriots thought there was no market for Welker, and that they’d at least have a chance to match.
After the Patriots’ made their offer to Welker, that’s when the Broncos, who previously showed no interest, pounced.
The signing takes away Tom Brady’s most trusted receiver, and gives Peyton Manning the type of reliable slot receiver that he’s been lacking to go along with weapons in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.