When the Patriots made headlines with their receiving-corps shakeup this week, the news reverberated around the country, especially in Denver and St. Louis. Here's a rundown of some of the reactions from media covering the Broncos and Rams:
- Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla gives Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway some serious kudos for bringing Wes Welker to Denver. In so doing, Kiszla says, Elway has filled out Peyton Manning's offense with a complement of weapons that may remind Manning of what he had for years in Indianapolis: Instead of Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison on the outside and Brandon Stokley in the slot, he now has Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas on the edge with Welker playing Stokley's role. What's that mean for Stokley, Manning's good friend whose contract with the Broncos expired with the start of free agency on Tuesday? Swallow hard, Peyton. He could be gone. And Stokley knows it.
- Oh, and for a glimpse of how the Denver fan base feels about the Welker deal, a poll embedded in Kiszla's column had 89 percent of its 11,000 voters on Thursday night saying that they "love it." High fives all around in the Mile-High City.
- While the Patriots got younger at receiver with the acquisition of Danny Amendola, the Broncos cited Welker's experience and past production as reasons to be excited for the next two seasons in Denver. Broncos coach John Fox told Andrew Mason of DenverBroncos.com, "[You] look for a guy with skins on the wall."
- For a laugh, over on SB Nation's Broncos blog, Mile High Report, you'll can find Dan Rubenstein taking a look at the how the Broncos nabbed a classic "Wes Welker type," while the Patriots replaced their scrappy slot machine with a newer model.
- As for Amendola's departure from St. Louis, how's this for a familiar-sounding story: Team offers receiver hometown discount; receiver looks elsewhere and finds a better offer. The St. Louis Post Dispatch wonders if Amendola's durability concerns kept the Rams from offering any more than $4 million a year for his services.
- Otherwise, St. Louis writers and their fans seem to be much more focused on the loss of running back Steven Jackson to the Falcons. Makes sense. Jackson's logged 131 games with the Rams in nine seasons. Amendola's played 42, including just 12 in the last two years.
- What about the contingency plan for replacing Amendola in St. Louis, you ask? According to the team's blog, pass-catching tight end Jared Cook will roam the space in the middle of the field and essentially serve as a slot receiver.