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Destination Denver for NFL Free Agents

Posted Jun 4, 2013

After the recent signings of a core of free agents, Denver has become a hot spot in the NFL.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- On the heels of a pair of AFC West titles, a league-best 13-3 record in the 2012 regular season and the addition of one of the most coveted quarterbacks in NFL history, the wave of orange and blue exhilaration that has captivated the city of Denver over the past 14 months has also washed over free agents across the NFL.

The resurgence of Broncos football is not only being felt in the Rocky Mountain region.

It's resounding throughout the NFL, as a contingent of sought-after free agents have already chosen Denver as their destination to compete for a championship -- and their former teammates certainly aren't faulting their decisions.      

"Just coming from the teams I've been on and still being in contact with those guys, they are all saying the same thing: 'You guys are stacked over there,'" newly signed cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said after Tuesday's OTA practice session. "(We are) looking to do good things this year and we know the expectations here."

Rodgers-Cromartie is part of the lengthy lineup of free agents who have signed with Denver since Peyton Manning's March 2012 signing sent shockwaves through the football universe.

Manning and Rodgers-Cromartie have been joined by Wes Welker, Shaun Phillips, Jacob Tamme, Joel Dreessen, Mike Adams, Quentin Jammer, Terrence Knighton and Louis Vasquez -- to name a few -- as free agents who have stepped on with the Broncos in the past 14 months.

"They came here to win, they came here to compete, they came here to get a role on a potentially great team," safety David Bruton said on Tuesday in reference to the free agents who have joined the team.

Free agents like Manning, Tamme, Dreessen and Adams were key factors to the Broncos' successes in the 2012 season, and as the Broncos have added more talent to an already talented roster, Denver's perception as being one of the most desirable places to play has only risen.

"I kind of figured that on the visit just getting a feel for coaches and how they were talking and just looking at where they came from last year, the things they did and how they are rising and building," Rodgers-Cromartie said in reference to how the opportunity to win influenced his decision. "I just wanted to come here and try to be a part of it."

Each passing addition has also caused expectation levels to rise from already Rocky Mountain heights.

"I feel like the guys definitely think it's a great place to be," Bruton said. "Just how the organization is run and how the guys who were already here, myself included, we know what it's like. We have a taste in our mouths of what we have to do to get to a certain point, but we know that what we did last year is not enough, so we always push more and more."

Ultimately, it's a contingent of players who are united in their abilities to contribute -- and in their unyielding hunger for a Super Bowl.

"I think everybody that is coming in, you can put our heads together as far as just experience and what we know from the game and try to get with everybody else, try to get what they know from the game, help out each other and just go out and compete every day," Rodgers-Cromartie said.