Welker joins Peyton in Denver; Bush goes to Lions
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 and Dashon Goldson in Tampa Bay.
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.
Welker caught 118 passes for 1,354 yards and six TDs last season.
According to multiple sources, New England will replace Welker with Danny Amendola, who reportedly signed a five-year deal worth $31 million with the Patriots.
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.
“It’s a running back’s dream,” Bush said. “One of the reasons I wanted to come here is to be able to bring a balanced attack.”
Bush adds to a strong offense led by record-setting All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson. The second overall pick in 2006 by New Orleans, Bush rushed for 986 yards for Miami last season after gaining 1,086 yards in 2011, his first year with the Dolphins.
“The thing that was important to us was not just the talent of Reggie Bush but also the way those talents complemented the other players we have on offense,” coach Jim Schwartz said. “That was really the basis of our interest in Reggie.”
The Lions also landed safety Glover Quin and defensive end Jason Jones and retained cornerback Chris Houston.
All-Pro safety Goldson gets a five-year contract worth $41.25 million. He spent the past two seasons on one-year contracts with the 49ers, including last year with the franchise tag for $6.2 million.
“Hard work really pays off. I remember signing up to play football, hiding it from my mom,” as a youngster growing up in Harbor City, Calif., Goldson said. “My journey … I wouldn’t say it was rough, but it was a little rocky.”
Cleveland remained active, agreeing to terms with linebacker Quentin Groves and tackle Desmond Bryant to further bolster a defense that added Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger hours after free agency began.
Kruger is one of many Super Bowl winners to leave the Ravens.