Sports shorts: Welker leaving Brady to play with Manning in Denver

2013-03-14T00:00:00Z Sports shorts: Welker leaving Brady to play with Manning in DenverStaff And Wire Reports Staff And Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star

Wes Welker sure knows how to pick his quarterbacks.

The star receiver, Tom Brady's favorite target, is leaving New England and heading to Denver, where he'll join Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

Day 2 of the NFL's free agency frenzy was highlighted by Welker grabbing a two-year deal with the Broncos, who had the AFC's best regular-season record last year. He gives Manning one of the steadiest targets the four-time league MVP ever has had.

Welker, the best slot receiver in the league, caught 118 passes for 1,354 yards and six TDs last season.

Denver also came to terms on a two-year deal with defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, formerly of Jacksonville, and a one-year contract with linebacker Stewart Bradley, who played with the Cardinals the past two seasons. Later in the evening, the team added cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with a one-year deal.

In some of the other NFL moves Wednesday:

• Arizona, in dire need of help in the backfield, agreed on a one-year contract with former Steelers starter Rashard Mendenhall. For three of his seasons, Mendenhall's offensive coordinator was new Cardinals coach Bruce Arians.

The Cardinals also cut free safety Kerry Rhodes, a move that cleared $6 million in salary cap space, and added cornerback Jerraud Powers, safety Yeremiah Bell, linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and quarterback Drew Stanton.

• Reggie Bush agreed to a four-year deal with Detroit and could fill a huge hole at running back. The Lions also landed safety Glover Quin and defensive end Jason Jones and retained cornerback Chris Houston.

• All-Pro safety Dashon Goldson got a five-year contract worth $41.25 million from Tampa Bay.

• Cleveland agreed to terms with linebacker Quentin Groves and tackle Desmond Bryant to further bolster a defense that added Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger hours after free agency began.

UA sports

Wildcats, Gidali win in Hawaii

The Arizona women's golf team won the 16-team Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational in Kane'ohe, Hawaii, on Wednesday. No. 7-ranked UA had an 11-over 875 total for three rounds. UA's Manon Gidali won the individual title with a 3-under 213.

Miscellaneous

Pima baseball team back at .500

The Pima Community College baseball team (12-12-1) beat visiting Gray Harbor College 4-1 as part of the Jack Howell Classic on Wednesday. Will Holbrook (Sabino) struck out eight in tossing a complete game.

• The Pima women's tennis team won its fifth straight match, topping host Ventura (Calif.) College 8-1.

• Former Arizona Wildcat golfer Natalie Gulbis has withdrawn from the LPGA Founders Cup because of malaria contracted during the tour's Asian swing. She is expected to be at full strength in three weeks.

• The United States women's soccer team won the prestigious Algarve Cup for the ninth time, beating Germany 2-0 in Wednesday's final at Faro, Portugal, thanks to two goals from Alex Morgan.

• NASCAR has reinstated Jeremy Clements following completion of stipulations set after the driver made insensitive remarks in an interview.

• Robert Parrish III (Santa Rita) of Rainy River (Minn.) Community College was named the NJCAA Division III baseball player of the week.

Includes material from news releases

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