NFL notes: New Bronco Welker joins Manning for workout
Peyton Manning threw his first passes to his newest Broncos teammate Wes Welker during a workout Wednesday at Duke in Durham, N.C.
Welker and Broncos receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker joined the veteran quarterback, working with Duke coach David Cutcliffe, who was Manning's quarterbacks coach at Tennessee and oversaw much of the quarterback's work when he was recovering from his neck surgeries.
Welker left the Patriots and signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Broncos this offseason.
Manning said in an ESPN interview, "There are certain guys you feel like you need it to happen with right away. He's a guy who has a great feel for getting open, understanding route concepts. He played a sophisticated offense in New England. He's smart. You can see why he's such a productive player."
HOF expects record turnout for 50th year
The Pro Football Hall of Fame expects a record turnout of members for its inductions celebrating its 50th anniversary.
As many as 130 Hall of Famers are expected to attend from Aug. 2-4 as Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson and Warren Sapp are enshrined. Already, 90 hall members have confirmed they will be on hand in Canton, Ohio, including Dick Butkus, Earl Campbell, Joe Greene, Jerry Rice, Don Shula, Bruce Smith and Emmitt Smith.
That is far more than usual turnout: "Typically there are 75-80 returning Hall of Famers attending the various enshrinement festival events," Hall of Fame President/Executive Director Steve Perry says. "We feel confident that we will have a record turnout by our Hall of Famers."
Referendum set on Miami stadium plan
A referendum on the proposal to upgrade the Miami Dolphins' stadium is scheduled for May 14.
Miami-Dade County commissioners voted Wednesday to put before voters a plan to use hotel taxes to help pay for nearly $400 million in improvements.
The county would pay for about 30 percent of the project, which also requires approval by the Florida Legislature.
The referendum will come eight days before league owners choose the host for the 50th Super Bowl, with Miami and San Francisco the finalists.
Dolphins and NFL officials say stadium upgrades are needed to keep the city competitive in bidding for the title game.
The Dolphins seek $3 million a year from the state and an increase in county hotel taxes.