Forget Welker - what about Harvin? Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! With the contracts for wideouts Brandon Stokley and Matthew Wilis up, several fans have suggested Denver should pursue New England's Wes Welker in free agency.

But given the contract Welker figures to command ($8M-$10M/year?), and with the team facing much bigger needs (interior offensive/defensive lines, middle linebacker), the receiver would appear to be beyond the team's budgetary restraints.

If the Broncos are interested in adding a dynamic slot receiver (and we have no idea whether they are), then what about pursuing a younger, more explosive version of Welker?

To that end, it's being reported that the Vikings are looking to trade Percy Harvin.

The electric receiver/runner/return man is entering the final year of his rookie deal, and his $2.9M salary would also be his cap number for any team that acquires him via trade. Minnesota would be left with just $1,128,800 of dead money, so that's not a factor.

Harvin has apparently been a problem in the locker room, and that's cited as the main reason for the Vikings looking to shop him. And perhaps he's seeking a lucrative long-term deal.

But the Broncos - just like the Pats have been for many years now - would appear to be just the sort of team that can afford to take a gamble on such a player.

In Denver, Harvin would  join a SB favorite, play with the league's best quarterback, and have a chance to put up some gaudy numbers in a contract year, while also commanding a pretty good salary.

From the Broncos' perspective, they'd be acquiring a gamebreaker (presumably for a second- or third-rounder) without any serious cap consequences, and one has to figure that the chance to win a championship, plus the veteran leadership of players like Peyton Manning, Champ Bailey, Elvis Dumervil, and others, would lower the drama factor.

It's the sort of move the Patriots have essentially trademarked.

Why can't the Broncos do the same?

Broncos

Jeff Legwold goes over the Denver cap issues we've been covering for the past week or so, although a couple of his numbers appear incorrect - Elvis Dumervil is due a fully guaranteed $12M salary - not the $10M that Legwold cites (the cap number appears correct), while D.J. Williams's cap number is slightly higher than what Legwold cites, according to Spotrac.

Mike Klis lists the biggest names available in free agency at Denver's perceived areas of need.

Dusty Saunders discusses the recent CO sportscaster award won by Vic Lombardi, and Vic's opinion that the state is still all about the Broncos, even during the offseason.

News

According to Peter King, it's not a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will use its exclusive franchise tag on QB Joe Flacco, and he can envision the Browns or Bills swooping in to sign him away in return for a pair of first-round picks.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher interviewed his ex-Bears teammate and current Vikings assistant Mike Singletary about potentially running his defense in St. Louis.

Another note from Dan Pompei's Sunday column is that new Cards coach Bruce Arians may be interested in bringing QB Drew Stanton along from Indy. Stanton, of course, is the poor guy who signed as a free agent with the LOLJets last offseason after being promised the backup job to Buttfumble, only to watch them bring in the Ultimate Teammate™ just days later. The Zombies love to talk about karma (which is highly ironic, given that it's a concept of those evil polytheists over in India), but Stanton landing a starting quarterback job before the UT™? Now, that's karma...

Analysis

Now that the NFL has quietly reinstated Sean Payton and Gregg Williams, effectively ending its botched handling of the Saints bounty scandal, Mike Tanier says the biggest outcome is that the Ginger Hammer's unwieldy amount of power has been checked. Plus, Tanier has a good laugh over Jay Cutler's romantic re-proposal to Kristin Cavallari.

Greg Bedard thinks the Patriots should elect to let both Welker and Brandon Lloyd walk via free agency.

Matt Bowen considers the potential impact of the Saints' hiring of Rob Ryan to run their defense.

Chase Stuart sees a few problems with focusing on the number of times a receiver is targeted, and his catch rates.

As Dan Wetzel notes, the investigation funded by Joe Paterno's family did nothing to salvage the late coach's reputation.

Would you trade a second- or third-rounder for Minnesota's Percy Harvin, assuming a contract extension wouldn't be required?

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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