caught a career-high 10 touchdown passes in his first season as a Bronco. (Rich Kane/Icon SMI)
As the Denver Broncos prepare for the 2014 season, they're fully aware that two of their most productive offensive players are getting up there in age.
With quarterback Peyton Manning having turned 38 on March 24 and wide receiver Wes Welker 33 as of May 1, should the team be overly concerned that the playing clock is running out on the duo?
Well, at least for one they should, according to a Denver columnist.
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"Wes Welker is one year older — he turned 33 on May 1 — and he's the ninth-oldest receiver in the league," wrote Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post. "Of course, he's also one hit away from perhaps having his career ended. He suffered two concussions last season within 21 days. Injury or not, let's be honest. This likely will be Welker's last season in Denver, whether that decision is made by the 2015 free-agency market, Father Time or some headhunting linebacker."
Hochman went on to point out that the Broncos already have their replacement plan in place after signing Emmanuel Sanders in free agency and drafting Cody Latimer out of Indiana.
For Welker, it will all come down to playing his best football in 2014, his second season with Denver, and showing that he still has plenty left in the tank.
Whether he can do enough to get the Broncos to re-sign him remains to be seen, but at the very least he could convince another team that he is worth picking up as a contributor for the next year or two.