The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

March 14, 2013

Reggie Bush to Lions, Welker to Broncos



Wes Welker sure knows how to pick his quarterbacks.

The star receiver, Tom Brady's favorite target, is leaving New England and heading to Denver, where he'll join Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

Also getting new deals were Reggie Bush in Detroit, Dashon Goldson in Tampa Bay, and even Ray Lewis — with ESPN.

Day 2 of the NFL's free agency frenzy was highlighted by Welker grabbing a two-year deal with the Broncos, who had the AFC's best regular-season record last year. He gives Manning one of the steadiest targets the four-time league MVP ever has had.

"When you look at Wes in the middle of the field, you can't cover him," Broncos boss John Elway said. "He does such a tremendous job of getting open, finding seams in zones, beating man-to-man coverage. So, he'll be a huge asset for us inside."

The best slot receiver in the league, Welker caught 118 passes for 1,354 yards and six TDs last season. That the Broncos are signing a top player away from New England certainly didn't hurt, either.

"Anytime you can take a player from a team you have to compete against, it helps, especially the caliber of Wes Welker," Elway said. "New England is there year in and year out and that's a team we have to beat to get where we want to get."

Denver also came to terms on a two-year deal with defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, formerly of Jacksonville, and a one-year contract with linebacker Stewart Bradley, who played with the Cardinals the past two seasons. Later in the evening, the team added cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with a one-year deal.

Bush agreed to a four-year deal and could fill a huge hole at running back. The Lions haven't been able to count on 2010 first-round draft pick Jahvid Best, whose career is in doubt because of concussion issues.

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