Just read Jared's article today regarding the pats making "no meaningful progress" with Welker.
I'm going to pose the question right off the bat. Is there a large possibility that we'll lose Wes Welker this year or the next? To be completely un-biased, I'm going to try to look at the current situation.
First of all, there is no way to express how much Welker has done with the team, and with Brady. Well... stats and records could definitely show it, but it would be an understatement how amazing he has played for us, and how consistent he has been. In terms of stats and records, simply ask SMP (slotmachineplayer). He might be that guy hanging outside Welker's house and writing a book about everything he does, so if you would want to know stat wise how much he has been with us, he is the guy to ask. His knowledge on Welker, goes beyond my knowledge of any NFL WR.
Welker may not be a deep threat, but he is a threat everywhere else, and normally requires a double team much like a deep threat would (sometimes its with another LB, sometimes a safety even). imo if I had to list the toughest WRs to stop, Welker would be top 3.
So what's going on now? Welker signed his franchise tender, gave Gronkowski an extension, and have until July 16 to negotiate a contract. Only about a month away.
Am I panicking? No I'm not. Am I worried? A bit.
Is Welker asking for too much? Is having Hernandez here complicating contract matters? Are they even not focusing on a deal at all, and just putting all their attention on this season?
Hernandez plays the slot, TE, and HB. He is the perfect Dallas Clark slot WR, only imo he has more potential then Clark. His hands have gotten better last season, but is it enough for the pats to consider extending Herndo instead of Welker? I'm not basing this on a skill level aspect. Welker operates much better in the slot then Herndo, although Herndo is damn good in the slot as well. Simply on a money aspect, do the pats find it a better investment for Hernandez then Welker? The only reason I think they could consider this, is if Welker is asking for more then they are willing to give at the moment.
And I think that's what its coming down to. If Herndo is asking less money then Welker (assuming Welker is asking for a lot), would they rather extend Herndo? And in all honesty, I think they could. On the other hand, will they pay Welker VJ money, and let go of Herndo? Because of having Hernandez, I think the pats are looking at their options and what better suits them for the future.
But this is all building on ifs, and that's really I can go by. Is it out of the realm of possibility that Welker is looking for a long term deal with a large amount of money? No, it's not. Is it possible that the pats would rather have Hernandez, a talented, multi-positional player that can play the slot, if he asks for less money for an extension? Yes, I believe they would.
On the other side: Is it possible that the pats would pay a large amount of money to keep Welker? Yes, they can. Is it possible to keep both Welker and Herndo? Yes it is. Is it possible that in doing so, we'll have trouble singing any future free agents? Yes, its possible.