Broncos agree to terms with safety Mike Adams
And no, it's not Peyton Manning.
Adams is eager to have the Broncos bring back perennial Pro Bowler Brian Dawkins, who is still undecided on whether he will return for a 17th season or call it a career. The 38-year-old free agent missed most of the last month and both of Denver's playoff games with a neck injury.
Just the chance to play alongside his idol, well, it's almost too good to be true. Adams actually wears No. 20 because of Dawkins. But he quickly interjected in a conference call Thursday to announce his agreeing to terms that should Dawkins return for another season, Adams would gladly don another jersey.
''I've been watching him since I've been in college,'' said Adams, who started a career-high 16 games for the Cleveland Browns in 2011. ''I have nothing but good things to say about him. I can't wait to meet him.''
Adams nearly did a few years ago when Dawkins played for the Philadelphia Eagles. He summoned up enough courage to walk over and introduce himself, only Dawkins was already in full game mode.
''When he gets into that zone, you can't talk to him,'' said Adams, who turns 31 on March 24. ''I respect him and hope he comes back.''
Adams becomes a nice insurance policy in case Dawkins doesn't return - a versatile veteran who can mentor young defensive backs such as Quinton Carter and Rahim Moore. Adams vowed to show them the ropes, just like Tony Parrish did for him when they were paired in San Francisco.
''Whatever knowledge I have, I'm definitely going to give it to Rahim and `Q,' Adams said. ''Try to help them out as much as possible so they can be successful in this league.''
Adams had a warm visit Thursday and then decided to postpone his remaining trips.
He was so impressed with the weather - a sun-drenched, 75-degree day - that he decided to stick around, becoming the Broncos' first free agent signing after a quiet opening as they awaited word from Manning.
''The weather was nice, coming from Cleveland,'' he said. ''It's a great fit for me. The atmosphere is good and it felt right.''
As for that free agent named Manning the Broncos are trying to lure to the Mile High City, well, Adams said it didn't influence his decision. He didn't even inquire about Manning, who's considering Arizona and Tennessee along with Denver.
''That was far from my mind,'' Adams said. ''That has no effect on whether I would come here or not. That had nothing to do with it.''
At 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, Adams isn't the typical size for a safety. But it also makes him flexible enough to play cornerback if needed.
''I think that's one of the things that attracted (the Broncos),'' Adams said.
Adams said his mind was quickly settled on the Broncos after meeting for hours with coach John Fox, along with team executive John Elway and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
''It was a no-brainer not to take anymore visits and just stay here,'' said Adams, who had a team-leading three interceptions for the Browns last season. ''It felt so warm when I got here. Everybody seemed like they were on board just for me. I just felt welcome. It felt right.''