Wes Welker is saying so long to Tom Brady and hello to Peyton Manning.
After spending six years with Brady in New England, the Pro Bowl receiver agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal Wednesday to team up with Manning in Denver.
The Welker signing was the highlight of a big day for the Broncos, who once again made a major splash in free agency. Welker will hold an introductory news conference on Thursday afternoon.
Denver also came to terms on a two-year deal with defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, formerly of Jacksonville, and a one-year contract with linebacker Stewart Bradley, who played with the Cardinals the past two seasons.
The Broncos picked up the league’s most productive receiver to play in the slot where Brandon Stokley was last season. Welker’s five 100-catch seasons are the most in the NFL. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his past five seasons and was an All-Pro four of the past five years.
Welker caught 118 passes for 1,354 yards and scored six touchdowns last year, helping the Pats go 12-4 and make the AFC title game before they also fell to Baltimore.
Chiefs introduce new quarterback Smith
The Kansas City Chiefs wanted to upgrade at quarterback.
Alex Smith wanted to play for the Chiefs.
Both of them got their wish.
The former University of Utah and San Francisco 49ers quarterback was introduced at a news conference at the Chiefs’ training facility on Wednesday, capping a whirlwind day of physicals and meetings and finishing off a process that began when the two sides agreed to a trade two weeks ago.
"There was no doubt in my mind this is where I wanted to be. It wasn’t close," Smith said. "Everything pointed here for me, and I’m excited about it."
The 49ers will receive the Chiefs’ second-round pick, 34th overall, and a conditional pick in next year’s draft under terms of the deal, which could not become official until the start of the new league year on Tuesday.
Under terms of the three-year contract he signed last March, Smith is guaranteed $8.5 million for the 2013 season. Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said that he and new Chiefs coach Andy Reid evaluated about 20 quarterbacks as they tried to upgrade the position, and they ultimately decided that Smith was a better option for the franchise going forward than a free agent or anybody available in the draft.
Around the league
Buccaneers • Free agent safety Dashon Goldson signed a five-year, $41.25 million ($22 million guaranteed) contract with the Tampa Bay. The two-time Pro Bowler spent the past two seasons on one-year contracts with the NFC champion 49ers.
49ers • Free agent defensive back Charles Woodson had a meeting with the NFC champion Niners in the Bay Area on Wednesday, according to his agent. The 36-year-old Woodson, an eight-time Pro Bowler who won 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors and was the 1998 Defensive Rookie of the Year, was released by Green Bay in a salary-cutting move on Feb. 15.
Lions • Running back Reggie Bush is joining Detroit, part of a big day in which team also landed free agent safety Glover Quin and defensive end Jason Jones.
Titans • Tennessee signed five free agents, highlighted by guard Andy Levitre from Buffalo and running back Shonn Greene, formerly of the Jets.
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