SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – In a blockbuster free agency move, the Denver Broncos picked up star receiver Wes Welker from the New England Patriots.

“It seems to me that the Patriots should have kept him,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “He catches over a hundred passes. He’s important to the Patriots. Now did they let him go because they see he’s getting older and they want to change their roster? Or was it a salary cap thing?”

Madden sees it as another big boost for the Broncos.

“Getting him in Denver with Peyton Manning? I think that’s really something,” the former coach said. “They’re going to be tough to stop… (Welker) could have one of his biggest years next year.”

Madden said Denver, Seattle and Kansas City have all scored big in the free agency scramble. And the 49ers?

“You’re one of the top three or four teams in the league,” Madden said. “They just need a guy here, a guy there, fill-in, you know, keep their good players.”

Madden noted the 49ers’ roster moves will get more complicated over the next few years.

“Their day of reckoning with the salary cap is going to come,” he said. “If Kaepernick keeps going the way he’s going now, when his contract comes up it’s going to be like Flacco and the Ravens… The good news is you have a great quarterback. The bad news is it’s hard to surround him with a lot of great players who are in their second or third contract.”

Madden said that’s the main reason more rookies are playing in the NFL than ever before. (7:55)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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