And there it is: what many in New England thought wouldn't happen has. Wes Welker has left the Patriots. He signed with the Broncos.
It's reportedly a two-year deal worth $12 million total, so a curious move by the Patriots to let him walk. Welker will take over for Brandon Stokley (45-544-5) in the slot, and will surely siphon some targets off of Eric Decker, Jacob Tamme and perhaps Demaryius Thomas, who has a downfield skill set that might protect his targets more than the other Bronco receivers. Still, Welker should be heavily targeted, and that will impact the entire offense. His value goes down a bit with the move. It's a boost for Peyton Manning, who gets a great weapon in the slot. In New England, Welker's departure is good news for Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, along with whomever the Patriots find to start at receiver next season. (Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman are “poor man’s Welkers” and Brandon Lloyd may get a chance to stick around.) As for Tom Brady, he can't be happy about losing his security blanket in the slot.