Terrance Knighton is large, pleasant and self-deprecating. It's not often the imposing 6-foot-3, 335-pound Knighton is smothered by the shadow of a 5-8, 185-pound, nondescript-looking man. But in the case of Wes Welker, Knighton knows it's so.

"Before the Welker signing, I told my agent, 'Let's get something done,' " Knighton said at his news conference Wednesday at the Broncos' headquarters. "Coincidentally, it happened at the same time. I'm pretty sure his news is bigger than mine."

He laughed at his modesty. The New England Patriots or San Diego Chargers may not find humor in the Broncos' free-agent spending spree. And the Broncos themselves seem serious in their attempt to move from regular-season champs to Super Bowl participants.

It takes many steps to get from one to the other, and the Broncos hope they took a couple Wednesday with their free-agent acquisitions of the receiver Welker and defensive tackle Knighton on two-year contracts. The Broncos also agreed to terms with cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a one-year, $5 million deal.