Broncos, Wes Welker 'deep' in contract negotiations

Wes Welker is reportedly in 'serious talks' with the Broncos. (USATSI)
Could Manning and Welker end up on the same team in the regular season? (USATSI)

The Patriots are not very interested in giving wideout Wes Welker money this offseason. Like, at all. So it makes sense that he's shopping his services. But the Pats might not like hearing that Welker's "deep in talks" with the Denver Broncos.

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that Welker and the Broncos are working to finalize a deal and the Broncos are deep in talks with Welker, according to league sources. La Canfora also hears, however, that nothing is definite yet and things could "still go either way" regarding Welker and the Patriots.

Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the possibility of Welker departing New England for Denver, saying "a decision [is] expected today."

First things first: It warrants mentioning that any interest in Welker on the Broncos part would certainly increase the Patriots desire to re-sign their top wideout. Regardless of how old he is or how much money he wants, the Patriots don't want Welker going to their chief conference rival.

In that same vein, we've heard that Welker isn't happy with the Patriots. And how could he be? They're basically stonewalling him, just a year after he played the role of good soldier by signing his tender and taking a one-year deal. There's been bad blood brewing between the two sides for a while now.

From a football standpoint, Welker makes a ton of sense for the Broncos. They have Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker; they're not weak at wide receiver. But don't sleep on the role Brandon Stokely played for Denver in 2012, catching 45 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns. Welker would be a large upgrade over Stokely and given the way he works as a wideout, he'd likely fit in perfectly with Peyton Manning.

So the Broncos could improve their team, likely at a marginal cost for Welker's contract, and also significantly weaken their No. 1 competition (all due respect to the Ravens) in the AFC.

Maybe Welker's camp is fishing for more New England money, but Denver nabbing a miffed Welker on the cheap would make a ton of sense.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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