For a while, the big talk up here was whether of not WR Wes Welker of the New England Patriots will for the 2013 seson and beyond. We've heard how Wes Welker wants to be with the Patriots, how Tom Brady wants him back, or even how Pats CEO & Owner Rob Kraft said he wants to 'try to bring Welker back.' We even heard from the likes of Boston sports radio stations saying that both Wes Welker and the Patriots were closing in on a long-term deal.
But there's an old saying: 'Talk is cheap'. If many people hadn't realize or were blinded by their Patriot homerism then they would have seen the writing or heard the news: Wes isn't coming back.
As of March 6th, 9:00 a.m. EST, the four-letter network's NFL insider Adam Schefter reported that Wes Welker is going to go into free agency next week. Translation: Wes is walking from the Pats.
Now there will be outcry from Patriots fans. A majority of them will come out and say that 'Oh, they don't need Welker' or 'Welker was only good because of Brady' or even 'Hope Welker tears his ACL again, the traitor'. To those Patriot fans who say that Brady made Wes Welker I ask this: Back in '06 when Deion Branch was rudely traded away and David Givens left via free agency, who was Brady's receiving corp? Answer: Reche Caldwell, Doug Gabriel, Troy Brown, Chad Jackson, Jabbar Gaffney, Kelvin Kight. Here were their stats from that 2006 season:
Guess who their QB was? Here's a hint: The same guy who has been throwing it to Welker for the 6 years he's been a Patriots. You can argue that the Patriots were busy rushing the ball back in 2006 but there was a reason why: Brady had nobody to throw to.
Without a viable receiving threat the Patriots ended up rushing more with 1,969 yards while Brady threw for 3,529 yards, 24 TDs, and 12 INT. The year before, in 2005, when they had Deion Branch and David Givens, the Pats rushed for 1,512 yards while Brady threw for 4,110 yards, 26 TDs, and 14 INT. It was only after Wes Welker and Randy Moss came to New England via trades that Brady's numbers exploded the way they did. Not too mention that 2008 season when Brady was out for the entire season due to an ACL tear in Week 1, Welker still put up monster numbers with Matt Cassel. (see stats below for Welker) Kind of hard to say that Brady made Welker into the receiver he is today. More like Welker made Brady.
For those fans who say the Pats don't need Welker, look at his stats during his 6 years in New England:
It's hard to find a receiver nowadays who averages 112 catches per season. Plus there is nobody on the Patriots squad as of this moment that can post those kinds of numbers consistently as Welker did. And as for those ignorant fans who wish to see Wes hurt: A. Your an ass and B. Not going to happen any time soon. Wes Welker plays the most dangerous receiving position: the slot. This means most of his routes consist of running into the middle of the field where he is more likely going to receive contact not only from the Cornerbacks but Safeties and Linebackers. Still, during his 6-year stay, Welker only missed 3 games during that time. So out of 96 possible games, he played in 93. That's about 97% of seeing him on the field and not in street clothes. Let's see Edelman, Hernandez, and Gronkowski replicate that.
So today, Wes Welker is walking away from the New England Patriots. There could be a chance, a sliver of a hope for New England fans that he resigns back with the team. However more than not, the memory of the 2012 off season will be on Welker's mind. He saw big time contracts go to the likes of Gronkowski and Hernandez after just 2-years in the league, he saw other receivers make the big time dollars after one or two good seasons while he posted 5 great ones, and for the first 4 games of the season, Welker saw the Pats trying to phase him out the way they did with Randy Moss back in '10. So to Welker, I say this. Just go to another team that will appreciate your services, that will give you the just contract you rightfully deserve, and that will use all of your talents to the fullest extend and not try to hold you down. You will make one NFL franchise lucky to have a hard-working, top-performing, and all-around classy athlete such as you a part of them. good luck and godspeed.
-Ryan L. Fox
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