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Wes Welker Mile High Bound
- Updated: March 13, 2013
Free agency has been insane in the opening day. We’ve seen Percy Harvin, and Anquan Boldin dealt. We’ve seen players like Bush drop and resign with the Lions. The latest bombshell to hit and especially for us here in New England, Wes Welker has signed with the Denver Broncos, moments ago.
Welker who had made it clear early on that he was going to see how free agency treated him before considering any deals from the New England Patriots. It didn’t help that the Patriots are trying to retain their stars while saving some salary cap space, much like the Tom Brady extension. All offers were just too low ball for Welker. He was franchise tagged last season, earning $9.5 million, but in order to do so this season would have cost $11.4 million for the 2013 season.
Come Wednesday morning though it had become public knowledge that Welker was in serious negotiations with the Denver Broncos and the odds of the Pats retaining were slimming down by the hour. By late afternoon, Welker had signed with the Broncos. His new deal for 2 years with net him $12 million.
Welker had become a go to receiver since joining the Pats via trade in 2007 from the Miami Dolphins. Since then he has mustered 672 catches, with an average of 112 catches per year. Welker became the first player in NFL history to with five 110-catch seasons. Since 2008 Welker has had only sub 100 catch season –that being the 2010 season where Randy Moss stole the show– and has caught 31 TD’s in that time. Last season Welker racked up 134 receptions for 1602 yard for 12 yard per reception, he also scored 7 TDs with a catch rate 0f 70.2%
Welker will be teaming up with former rival Peyton Manning. Manning lead the Broncos to the AFC divisional game where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl champs Baltimore Ravens. He joins a decently star studded receiver core that features Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. He will likely become one of the go to targets for Manning as his size provides a more than usual difficulty to cover. Not to mention his ability to squeeze through defenders and pick up extra yards. A great asset to an already dangerous Broncos squad.
Meanwhile that leaves the Patriots reeling in agony. Brady –who restructured his contract in hopes of providing the team means to bring in the necessary pieces to win for the remainder of his career– cannot be to happy about this news. In fact he’s probably livid and who could blame him? We all know he was hoping that with the extra cap space Welker would be retained. Sure he has received criticism for his performances in the playoff games they have lost, but what he contributes to the team during the season is tremendous. Now as if their quest to possibly add a bash brother for Wilfork and solidifying their secondary haven’t been stressful enough you can now add sign a star WR to the offseason to do list. The best option at wideout currently being Brandon Lloyd, while being a great receiver just is not the caliber Brady needs in his ace. A lot of work to do for the Pats going forward.
(Photo 1 source) http://helmet2helmet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/wes-welker1.jpg
Author: Tyler Arnold
My name is Tyler Arnold, I am the founder, co-owner, and editor-in-chief of The Runner Sports. Sports have been my life since I was young, so here I am doing the only sensible thing, making a career of it. I love it all, and will watch any and every game I possibly can. Thanks for your readership.