Wes Welker finished with 118 catches for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns in 2012 for New England for his NFL-record fifth season with 100 or more receptions. Welker is a five-time Pro Bowler and a four-time All-Pro selection.
DENVER — Wide receiver Wes Welker reached an agreement on a two-year, $12-million deal with the Denver Broncos, the NFL Network reported Wednesday.
Welker, one of the top unrestricted free agents available, had 118 receptions for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns in 2012 with the New England Patriots. It was his fifth 100-catch season — an NFL record — with the Patriots.
“Agreed on a 2-yr deal with Wes Welker,” John Elway, the Broncos’ vice president of football operations wrote on Twitter. “Excited to have Wes join Broncos. His production & toughness will be a great asset!.”
Welker played last season for $9.5 million, the terms applied under the franchise designation, and he and the Patriots reportedly remained far apart in negotiations toward a long-term deal.
The 31-year-old is considered an ideal fit in the Patriots’ offense, but the Broncos offer many of the same perks Welker found in New England.
Denver acquired Peyton Manning in free agency last March and has two promising young receivers, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, to form a potent passing attack that could become lethal by adding Welker as a slot receiver.
Brandon Stokley was the primary No. 3 receiver for the Broncos last season. It’s an essential spot in the Broncos’ no-huddle offense. Stokley caught 45 passes for 544 yards.
BRONCOS SIGN TWO TO DEFENSE: The Broncos agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Terrance Knighton.
The 6-3, 330-pound Knighton (6-3, 330 pounds) started 50 games in his four year career with the Jacksonville Jaguars and totaled 259 tackles (150 solo), including 21 losses. He had 7 1/2 sacks, one interceptions, nine passes defended and forced three fumbles.
Knighton, drafted in the third round out of Temple by the Jaguars in 2009, played all 16 games in 2012 for the third time in four years and ranked second on the Jaguars with 17 quarterback pressures and tied for the team lead with two forced fumbles.
Linebacker Stewart Bradley, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals on March 1, signed a one-year contract with the Denver Broncos on Wednesday.
John Elway, the Broncos’ vice president of football operations, announced the deal on Twitter.
Bradley is expected to compete with Nate Irving and Steven Johnson to win the starting middle linebacker spot in Denver’s 4-3 defense.
A misfit in the Cardinals’ 3-4 defense, Bradley hasn’t started since 2010, when he was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 6-4, 258-pound Bradley had his best statistical season in 2008, when he started all 16 games and recorded 108 tackles, defended six passes, forced a fumble and recorded a sack.
Bush agrees to four-year deal with Lions
DETROIT — Reggie Bush agreed to terms on a four-year contract with the Detroit Lions on Wednesday and planned to introduce the free agent running back at a new conference later in the day.
It was a busy day for the Lions, who earlier re-signed free agent cornerback Chris Houston and signed defensive lineman Jason Jones, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks.
The 29-year-old Bush showed the last two years in Miami that he can be an every-down tailback in Miami, rushing for 2,072 yards and 12 touchdowns in two seasons with the Dolphins.
Bush, who was used in a utility role in six seasons with New Orleans earlier in his career, played in every game last year for the first time since 2006 and finished with 986 yards, barely missing a second straight 1,000-yard season.
In 91 games during his career with the Saints and Dolphins, Bush has 4,162 yards rushing and 2,730 receiving, with 48 touchdowns, 29 rushing, 15 receiving and four on returns.
Packers, running back Jackson discuss three-year deal
GREEN BAY, Wisc. — Running back Steven Jackson is discussing a three-year contract with the Green Bay Packers according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.
Jackson hasn’t ruled out listening to offers from other teams, including a return to the St. Louis Rams. The Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos are reportedly interested in Jackson.
Jackson is a first-time free agent after nine seasons with the Rams, who drafted the Oregon State product in the first round of the 2004 draft.
Jackson is the NFL’s active leader in rushing with 10,135 yards, including eight straight 1,000-yard seasons.
Titans sign ex-Jet Greene: Shonn Greene, starting running back with the New York Jets since 2011, signed as a free agent on Wednesday with the Tennessee Titans.
The contract reportedly is worth $10 million over three years.
Greene took over as the starter with the Jets two seasons ago after backing up LaDanian Tomlinson in 2010.
Last season, Greene started 14 of 16 games for the Jets and rushed for 1,063 yards and eight touchdowns.
In Tennessee, it is expected that Greene will back up Chris Johnson, in addition to being a third down and short yardage back.
Mendenhall headed to Arizona: Running back Rashard Mendenhall agreed to a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.
Mendenhall’s agent, Mike McCartney, announced the pending transaction.
A first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mendenhall had his most productive NFL seasons under the watch of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, and re-joins his former coach in Arizona.
Arians, hired as a first-time head coach by the Cardinals in January, were given the first chance to sign Mendenhall, who also planned to visit the Denver Broncos.
Signing a short-term deal allows Mendenhall to prove his health before returning to free agency next season, or working out a long-term deal with the Cardinals.