A few days ago I saw that Wes Welker and the Patriots were closing in on a 3 year deal. Once I saw this I felt comfortable again, “Finally” I thought New England and Welker will be reunited. There was little to no question in my mind that Welker would be sporting a New England jersey next year. Then I awoke Wednesday morning to see that Welker would be testing free agency. My heart dropped. What is he doing? New England is his home. Its where he exploded onto the scene as the best slot receiver in football. Instead of being that really athletic receiver in Miami who is the only player to kick and receive a punt and a kickoff in the same game. Why would he turn his back on our Patriots. I began to think of things from his point of view, and everything came together.
For years Welker has fallen out of conversations when elite receivers becomes the topic of conversation. Other receivers like Calvin Johnson Jr, Andre Johnson, and Julio Jones etc. look better to analysts because of their physical statistics and deep threat ability. Even when Welker makes a one handed catch, down the sidelines against the Texans on Monday night, everyone and their mother finds something else to be awed by on ESPN. The fact that Welker is not heralded as “elite” is a shame. He’s a hard working receiver who gives his all on every play, whether he gets the ball or not. He is one of the best blocking receivers in the league and has helped bring back this Patriot running game with key blocks on outside run plays. Not only this but he takes a constant beating every game. On most of Welker’s plays he runs a gutsy route over the middle and is susceptible to a monster hit from a linebacker who is six inches taller and fifty to sixty pounds heavier than he is. Welker is a “elite” receiver who deserves the money, he takes a beating for his team week in and week out and has given everything he has for New England so far.
While I understand where Wes Welker is coming from on his reasons to be paid more, I also think that he needs to look at the big picture. Why put the screws to the Patriots admin. New England is where Welker belongs, it is where he has been utilized most and where he has found his home in the NFL.
This being said, if Welker does walk, teams like the Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, and the Indianapolis Colts would be interested in signing Welker. If the game of football has become about money to Wes Welker than he will walk and he will sign with one of these teams who can pay him the money he wants. New England has proven many times that they are not a franchise who will throw money at whatever player they want in order to get him to play. In order to play for New England a player must “drink the kool-aid” so to speak. Players who sign with the Pats are playing for a ring. That is the difference between New England and most other franchises out there. Its not about the paycheck you get, its about contributing to a Super Bowl and hoisting the Lombardi trophy high over your head at the end of the season. The Patriots are all about selfless football, this is why players filter through New England’s system so fast. Take players like Randy Moss, Albert Haynesworth and Joseph Addai. All three of these players had a huge impact on teams they had been with in previous years. However when it came to contributing to one common goal, it became obvious that they were not the players for the job. Haynesworth could not get in shape, Addai quit during conditioning and Randy Moss was productive for one season before his attitude got out of control.
Another reason for Welker to stay in New England is that no other team uses a slot receiver to the extent that the Pats do. For most other teams their primary guy is a deep threat receiver who can stretch the field. By no means am I saying that a slot receiver is a scary mystery that no offensive coordinator can figure out, but if Welker heads over to a different team he will not get amount of action that he does in New England.
My point for this tangent is that the New England is a franchise focused on one goal and that is a Super Bowl. Case and point is Tom Brady’s contract. While he did not take any less money, he restructured his contract in order to bring on key players in free agency. While Joe Flacco signs a 120 million dollar contract after he has won his first Super Bowl.
If Wes Welker does decide to walk its because money and his ego have become his motivator, and not a Super Bowl. Wes Welker remains one of my favorite Patriots of all time and watching him leave New England would be devastating. In my heart I believe he will stay with the Patriots and depending on how well the Pats handle free agency could be hoisting a Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season.
Hope you all enjoyed reading and lets hope for a great free agency!