Thursday, March 14, 2013
Broncos introduce Wes Welker
ESPN.com news services
One day after leaving the New England Patriots via free agency, new Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker was introduced in Denver and said splitting with quarterback Tom Brady was the most difficult part of the move.
"Yeah, that was definitely probably the hardest part, leaving Tom," Welker said Thursday. "He's a great competitor, a great player, a great friend across the board. I wish the best to him."
Welker agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal with Denver on Wednesday. The deal also includes $150,000 in incentives in each year if he catches 90 passes, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The Patriots offered Welker $10 million over the same timeframe.
"I'm definitely excited about the opportunity," Welker said. "I'd definitely like to thank New England for the six years there and all the trust and everything they put in me, and the opportunities I got. I'm looking forward to being a Denver Bronco and really trying to help this team win, and getting to play with Peyton [Manning] and a good group of receivers, and a good offense."
Welker, who has 768 career receptions for 8,580 yards and 38 touchdowns, said joining a winning team was important in his decision-making process. The other team that pursued Welker was the Tennessee Titans, a source familiar with the situation said.
"I felt Denver would be a great fit for me with their offense and how they run things and everything else," Welker said. "They have a great quarterback, a great team. They went 14-2 last year. They're a great team and I want to win. I felt like it was a good opportunity to me."
The move for Welker highlighted a busy two days for the Broncos, one in which front-office chief John Elway added Welker and four other players for $56 million -- all with the single goal of getting Peyton Manning and Denver to the Super Bowl as soon as possible.
"I was probably the one pitching to him, trying to make this happen and everything else," Welker said Thursday about his discussions with Elway.
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.