USA TODAY - Does Wes Welker's move to the Mile High City make the Denver Broncos a lock to roll through the AFC in 2013? Or will the deal go down as another high-profile free agent signing that turns out to be a disappointment?
Five reasons why it's a good move
1. He's Wes Welker: There's no disputing the value of a five-time Pro Bowler who has topped 110 catches in five of the past six seasons. He's a unique talent.
2. The price tag: At a reported two-years for $12 million, Welker's contract doesn't prevent the Broncos from getting some other free-agent shopping done this offseason, nor does it mortgage the future.
3. Manning masters the middle: Peyton Manning loves to carve up the field between the hashmarks with short crossing routes. Anyone else run them better than Welker?
4. Third down: Welker had 21 catches on third down last season that moved the chains, which was tied for ninth in the league.
5. He's a pain: A tough, 5-9 waterbug that rarely comes off the field is a matchup nightmare and should make life easier on the outside for ascending stars Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
Five reasons why it's a bad move
1. The Broncos must change their identity: Denver was the second-highest scoring team (30.1) in the league last season while running lots of two-tight end sets with Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen. Now they're a three-receiver team all the way. Will it really be better?
2. The law of diminishing returns: There's only one ball, and Welker is used to getting it often. The 174 targets he got in 2012 were fourth most in the league. Thomas (141) and Decker (123) also need to be fed. Someone's - or everyone's - production is going down.
3. It's still $12 million: The Broncos have questions at linebacker, safety, running back and need more depth on the offensive line. Welker is more of a luxury than a need.
4. How big is the upgrade? Welker is taking the place of a good slot receiver in Brandon Stokley. Stokley, a.k.a. the Slot Machine, played for the minimum and was far more efficient than Welker on a per target basis. Stokley had a higher catch and touchdown percentage and delivered more yards per catch.
5. Is Welker really that good? According to Profootballfocus.com, Welker led the NFL in drops last season with 15. His next season with double-digit touchdowns will be his first. Playing with stars like Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez during his time with the Pats certainly made life easier for him. Quick, name the last time Welker came up huge in the postseason?
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