Andre Caldwell found himself in a difficult position last year.
As a competitor, the wide receiver wanted to be out on the field breaking the myriad of records along with his teammates. And rather than being a disgruntled player in the locker room due to his lack of playing time – he did catch 16 passes and 3 touchdowns a year ago – Caldwell was patient.
"It definitely was a humbling experience, but I just kept working. I didn't want to be a cancer to the team. I just always stay positive, helped mentor younger guys, learn from the older guys," the seventh year player said. Caldwell stepped in for the ailing Wes Welker on their Thursday night game against the Chargers and caught six passes and a pair of touchdowns.
"I just stayed positive because I knew if my chance came, I'd do my best to make the most of it," he continued.
Caldwell pointed to that game in mid-December as the one that proved his worth to his teammates and the organization. Denver has confidently resigned the free agent to a two-year deal worth nearly $3.5 million.
He felt that Denver is the best spot for him even as wide receiver Eric Decker's future remains in question. Caldwell will likely get more playing time – which is something that he sought after in picking a team – if the Broncos are unable to keep Decker.
"I felt like I made the most of my opportunities when they gave me a chance to play. I think I made the most out of the limited time I had last year," Caldwell asserted. "Hopefully I can compete for an extended role this year and contribute a lot more to the team."
Bubba – his nickname – even joked that he finally got invited to get some early off season work with Peyton Manning at Duke University. He was irked when he learned he wasn't called upon to participate last year.
Caldwell hopes to find himself as an integral weapon of another Broncos prolific offense in 2014. It would be a credit to his work ethic and his ability to stay patient.