Well, I’m shocked, and I’ve come around to joining Doug in being pretty happy that Wes Welker will be joining the Denver Broncos. The main reason for my shift in opinion is that they got him quite a bit cheaper, and on a shorter-term deal than I thought was possible. Remember, the Broncos are a team that has to pay Von Miller and Demaryius Thomas over the next couple of years, so keeping a deal short is key.
On the field, this move is going to make the Broncos nigh on unstoppable offensively. I expect them to play four guys from the quintet of Thomas, Eric Decker, Welker, Jacob Tamme, and Joel Dreessen, and just grind teams up with the passing game at all levels of the field.
It doesn’t matter who the running back is, because the acquisition of Welker guarantees that the Broncos won’t be seeing base defense much at all. Whoever the RB is will be running against really light box counts, and Welker is an excellent blocker for his size. In the running game, Welker is a sneaky positive, because he mashes the nickelback in front of him way more often than not.
Welker worked the bejesus out of Chris Harris in Week 5 of the 2012 season, and Harris might be the best inside CB in the NFL. What that should tell you is that nobody in the NFL can cover the dude man-to-man.
I talked a couple days ago about how Reggie Bush would open up the field for everybody else, and Welker absolutely has the same effect. You have to account for all of those option routes, and when you know that you can’t trust one guy to cover him, you’re leaving yourself short schematically somewhere else.
I figured that Welker would command upwards of $10 million per season, since that’s what he got on the franchise tag. I wouldn’t have agreed with the asset allocation strategy of investing that amount in a slot receiver. I do, however, sign off on spending $6 million per year, over a short deal. It fits their orientation of going for it all in the next couple years, without hurting their ability to be competitive after that.
I think the Broncos just signed the right player, for the right deal, and that they hurt their most dangerous competition badly. It doesn’t get a lot better than that.