DENVER -- Outside linebacker Dekoda Watson meshed seamlessly into the Broncos' locker room last season. He cracked up teammates with his selfies pitching products, and displayed a grinder's work ethic that solidified the special teams coverage units.
When the Broncos signed former New Orleans Saints linebacker Kasim Edebali last week, however, Watson's path back to Denver became complicated. He visited Seattle and San Francisco this week, signing a three-year, $6-million deal with the 49ers on Friday night.
"Broncos Country you will be missed truly!" Watson tweeted, who is No. 57 pictured above prior to the Jacksonville victory. "Thank y'all so much for me taking me in. You fans are truly amazing!!"
Watson, a seven-year pro from Florida State, posted a Broncos' best 11 special teams tackles last season. He played in all 16 games, contributing six tackles and one forced fumble. Watson was praised for his practice habits, and earned additional playing time late in the season. Broncos general manager John Elway said Monday he wanted to keep Watson, but knew the veteran was testing the market.
In many ways, Edebali's addition precluded Watson's return. Edebali was a special teams ace for the Saints and plays defensive and and outside linebacker. Edebali signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with a $200,000 signing bonus. The Broncos also boast linebacker Vontarrius Dora, who remains an intriguing prospect after a developmental season.
The Broncos continue to exercise patience this offseason. They are looking for a starting left tackle either through the draft, trade or free agency. There's been no movement on the Tony Romo situation. The Broncos are not inclined to deal for the quarterback, but are expected to express interest if and when he becomes a free agent. The next artificial deadline that could prompt action with Romo remains the NFL owners meetings, which begin on March 26 in Phoenix. Executives will convene under the same roof, increasing the likelihood of discussions. The Broncos begin their offseason workouts in early April -- two weeks earlier -- because they hired a new coach.