I'd rather the money be spent elsewhere than a 3rd slot receiver. Most teams don't have high quality nickel backs and with a team's two best CB's usually lined up against Thomas and Decker I think even an average slot receiver could get big yards with Manning.
I think the productivity difference of a slot receiver getting little money (Broncos version of Anthony Gonzales/Austin Collie) vs. a star is low especially in a Manning/Brady offense. It's why I don't think the Patriots value Welker a lot and are willing to let him go because they feel they should use their money for bigger productivity gains per dollar at other positions. They have Brady - who will more than compensate for a slight reduction in quickness at the slot receiver position with good line calls and accurate throws. Put Welker vs Stokely with a quarterback like say Blaine Gabbert - and I doubt you see much difference in production - both would have terrible numbers. (Welker is making 9.7 M this year - Stokely 1M). Now I think the Patriots signed Welker to a big deal because of familiarity/prior service etc.. but I doubt they keep him.
I think the Broncos and Elway are thinking along these lines - why pay 8.7M more a year for maybe a couple more tds and 200 yards more receiving in the slot position instead of using that 5M to get a defensive lineman that reduces average yards per carry by say .5 (which may contribute to more wins)? I'm pulling these numbers out of my you know what because I don't want to look up salaries/productivity numbers - but I'm guessing they have some analysis along this front going on.
They probably have also done an analysis thinking about future salaries and potential production - hence the saving of 18 million.
Last edited by Binkythefrog; 01-08-2013 at 12:52 PM..