Extra Points: Welker, Spiller, Concussions

While they’re surely focused on the regular season after losing 43-21 to the Patriots yesterday, the Broncos are going to have to make several difficult decisions during the offseason. Most importantly, Denver will need to figure out how to retain both Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas, meaning that fellow pass-catcher Wes Welker‘s impending free agency might be put on the back burner. A team source tells Jason Cole of Bleacher Report that Welker is the odd man out in regards to a new contract, and that the 33-year-old will likely be playing somewhere else in 2015. Welker, working under the final year of a two-year, $12MM deal, has just 22 receptions for 212 yards and one touchdown this season. Though he currently earns $6MM per year, Cole speculates that Welker will be lucky to find $2-3MM on the open market.

  • Despite being placed on IR-DTR after breaking his collarbone, C.J. Spiller tells Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that he isn’t worried about his free agent stock. “I think I’ve laid a great foundation,” says the Bills running back, who will be part of a free agent running back class that could include DeMarco Murray, Mark Ingram, Shane Vereen, and Frank Gore.
  • 220 former NFL players have opted out of the proposed concussion agreement, per an ESPN report. The league has agreed to pay in excess of $765MM in order to cover health risks associated with concussions. The retired players, or their families, who opted out of the settlement have the option of suing the NFL individually.
  • Colts defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois has hired Drew Rosenhaus as his new agent, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). It’s probably not a signal that the 27-year-old is looking for a new contract, as he signed a four-year, $22MM deal with Indianapolis just last year. He’ll count $6.125MM against the cap in 2015, and though the club could save $4.875MM by cutting him, it’s presumably pleased with his production, as he graded out positively, especially against the run, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
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