Re: Welker, Patriots Close to Multi-Year Deal
posted at 3/9/2013 4:13 PM EST
What has Welker done lately? 118 pass completions this past year, 122 the year before. Then he had an ACL recovery year of 86 completions, then 123, 111 and 112 pass completions. He wears a big sign on the field saying, "I'm running the in-out route and the ball's coming right here" and few teams have the personnel to stop him 1 on 1. A double team does the job, but then somebody else is uncovered. Nobody ever has those numbers. Hall of Fame.
Moreover, a huge percentage of Welker's completions help the team. An 8 yard completion on first and 10 sets up a second and 2, which is almost better than getting a first and 10 because you get to either smash the defensive interior and get the first down, or else you can rip off another 10 yards through the air if they're playing run. Guys who get open 40 yards downfield and drop the ball only help their team half the time. From New England's side, Welker's value can be measured in numbers of wins and playoff appearances. The year the Welker tore up his knee, all the heart went out of the team going into the playoffs.
I suspect that Brady has a big say, and he really likes seeing an open target 6 yards down the field all the time. Brady doesn't have to absorb a pounding when he can successfully get rid of the ball in record time. That's good for Brady's health and his long term earnings too.
Now, what was life like for Welker during his first three years? 0 receptions, 29 receptions and 67 receptions. Then Miami made him a lowball RFA offer. Kid, you're two steps better than trash. New England made an offer that Miami couldn't match, Miami took New England's second rounder (a forgetable pick) and BB seems to have gotten the better of that deal.
Welker fell into a honey pot, with a quarterback who doesn't specialize in throwing deep but boy is he accurate over the middle, and smart. In New England Welker usually doesn't get led face first into a 250 pound linebacker. He catches the ball on the run and gets yards after the catch, or at least he gets time to hit the dirt on his own without the defense's help. I think he has an understanding with BB. He dives for the dirt because it's good for the team. In return, Welker has had an amazingly long football life and income for a 5 foot 9 inch guy. When you don't get hit, you live to make another x million next year, and the next year, on and on. Welker's agent is rich, that's how good Welker is.
So, after both sides hem and haw, I wouldn't be surprised to see them come to an agreement. Some other team will think of making a huge offer this weekend, but there's a good chance Welker will settle for less up front if his job longevity looks better here.