Wes Welker is headed to the Denver Broncos, and all I can really say is “shame on you, New England.” Welker has been the most productive receiver in the NFL for years now, yet apparently he’s not worth $12 million over two years to New England. If you ask me, that’s a certifiable slap in the face.
I’ll give you one stat on Welker’s production – in the last 6 years, he’s had 110+ receptions 5 times. In his entire NFL career, Jerry Rice had 110+ catches exactly twice. Don’t get me wrong, they’re very different players. But I think you get the point.
Welker’s production aside, what makes me the most angry about the Pats letting him slip away is this – sure, I see Danny Amendola as well as Julian Edelman as more than capable replacements. Both are younger and faster than Welker. But it could very well take Amendola two or more years to develop half the chemistry with Tom Brady that Wes Welker has right now. Welker is 32 – it’s not like he’s that old – and the window of opportunity for Tom Brady (and Wes) to win in right now. Why the need to bring in new blood and pass on a known (and incredibly productive) commodity?
Sure, it’s the Patriots schtick to stick it to the player and make it known that no one is that valuable and the cogs in their wheel are all mostly interchangeable. But it’s also the Patriot way to look for players, regardless of size, who know their role and compete on every single play. Wes Welker mine as well be the poster boy for that mantra. If I was Tom Brady, I’d sure be ticked.
As for Danny Woodhead, although he plays a different position he mine as well be Welker Jr. Both guys left it all on the field, were pound for pound two of the toughest guys in the entire league, and contributed to the Patriots in a big way. Neither was making unreasonable demands, and both were good for team morale.
Sure, Wes Welker has become something of a scapegoat for the Patriots’ two most recent and brutal playoff loses. But I can just see him in my mind’s eye catching that beautiful touchdown pass from Tom’s biggest rival, Peyton Manning, that sends the Patriots packing in the final seconds of next year’s AFC championship. On second thought, I can see him dropping the pass and New England rejoicing. Whatever the outcome, one thing is for certain – the Patriots better make some moves or they won’t have the opportunity to play against Welker in next year’s AFC championship.