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The Denver Broncos, who went into serious talks with Welker after the Patriots' low-ball offer, have made a multiyear offer, NFL.com's Albert Breer reported Wednesday.
A decision one way or another is expected Wednesday.
We wrote days ago that a surprise team like the Broncos could pop up if Welker was allowed to hit free agency. Breer reported Wednesday that the Patriots' offer to Welker was far below expectations, which buoyed the confidence of other teams (like the Broncos) to get into the mix. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that talks had broken off with the Patriots.
Welker is a natural fit for the Broncos because they are looking for a slot receiver (sorry, Brandon Stokley) and because Welker knows how to play with one of the most prepared quarterbacks in NFL history.
Welker clearly wasn't happy with the Patriots' offer. The only way to get that offer higher: Get another team involved. A similar dynamic played out years ago when Adam Vinatieri surprisingly left the Patriots for the rival Indianapolis Colts. Welker even is more important to the Patriots' success than Vinatieri was.
Perhaps these negotiations will push the Patriots to raise their offer and Welker to stay in New England. But Welker might be ready to leave because of a strained relationship with the front office, and now he finally has another team that's ready to pay him.
UPDATE: Welker agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract with the Broncos after the Patriots offered a two-year, $10 million deal with incentives, Breer reported.