The first week of NFL free agency felt like an “anything you can do, I can do better” battle between John Elway and Bill Belichick.
Elway’s Denver Broncos, who beat Belichick’s New England Patriots in the AFC championship game and lost to them in the 2013 regular season, swiped the Patriots’ best cornerback, Aqib Talib. That prompted the Patriots to sign probably the best cornerback on the market, Darrelle Revis, when he was released midweek. The Broncos, blown out in the Super Bowl, weren’t done stockpiling defensive players, adding T.J. Ward and DeMarcus Ware. So the Patriots landed Brandon Browner. Belichick never admits these things, but Elway was open about what’s going on here.
“You always know you have to go through New England,” Elway told reporters (video via DenverBroncos.com). “If you look at their track record over the last 10 years, they’re a team you’re going to have to be able to deal with. For us to get done what we want to get done, you have to be able to beat them. It’s kind of a fun arms race, and we’ll see what happens next year.”
“Well, you always know you have to go through New England if you look at their track record the last 10 years,” said Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway on Sunday. “They’re a team that you’re going to have to deal with. For us to get done what we want to get done, you’ve got to be able to get done. It’s kind of a fun arms race, and we’ll see what happens next year.”
Last year, Elway picked up Wes Welker from the Patriots and this year’s additions — on both sides — will only enliven the regular-season meeting between the teams this fall in Foxborough.
“We want good football players that are going to be here for a long time,” Elway said. “The basic [idea] is to get as young as we can with the best player we have.