"Well, you always know you have to go through New England if you look at their track record the last 10 years," Elway said, per the Broncos' official website. "They're a team that you're going to have to deal with. For us to get done what we want to get done, you've got to be able to get done. It's kind of a fun arms race, and we'll see what happens next year."
The Broncos' luring of cornerback Aqib Talib away from the Patriots on the opening night of free agency jumpstarted the stockpiling of weapons. Elway has supplemented that signing with safety T.J. Ward, defensive end DeMarcus Ware and Sanders.
"You have your wish list. We're fortunate enough that we've gotten to 'X' off a lot of the guys on our wish list that were able to come here," Elway said.
The Patriots' offseason moves included adding corners Darrelle Revis -- the top player to change teams the past week -- and Brandon Browner. Belichick also re-signed top target Julian Edelman and added receiver Brandon LaFell.
Elway, however, insisted that his signings weren't just one- or two-year rentals -- pointing out that Ware was the only player on the wrong side of 30 in the group.
"That's why the misnomer of us winning now -- sure, we want to win now, but we've also set ourselves up -- we've got four football players for three-year-or-longer contracts, and they're all young except for DeMarcus," he said. " ... That just goes to show you that it's not for 'now.' We want young football players that are going to be here for a long time, and they're still young in their career and continue to get better."