Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Wes Welker knows it's a business.
From a tumultuous franchise-tagged offseason, to a "phased out" game plan to start the regular season, Wes Welker knows that the NFL is a business.
That being said, there's little to no chance the Patriots move Welker at the deadline.
No. 83 is a 100-catch machine who has gained over 6,600 receiving yards since his arrival in New England.
The reasoning behind trading Welker would be for the sake of brass tacks.
Welker is 31 years old and set to be a free agent again at the end of this season. If he is slapped with another tender next year, he would earn upwards of $11.4 million, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Surely, the veteran wants some long-term security, but the Patriots have preferred the pay-as-you-go approach. Welker has seen free-agent wideouts like Pierre Garcon and Vincent Jackson reach lucrative paydays of $42.5 million and $55.6 million, respectively, per Chuck Schilken of the Los Angeles Times.
But by sticking with New England, Welker has sacrificed dollars for wins. If Welker tests his worth again next March, he will likely be greeted with some enticing offers, which would put the Patriots at a crossroads.
Nonetheless, both sides are not yet at that crossroads.
In an article written this summer, the Boston Globe's Christopher Gasper eyed the road ahead for both the Patriots and Welker:
The other message the Patriots delivered by not locking up Welker is they deem him replaceable, maybe not directly as a slot receiver nonpareil, but replaceable. Much like the Patriots offense morphed after the trade of Moss and the loss of the long ball in 2010, the Patriots could adapt and score without Welker.
The Pats would undergo an offensive reset if Welker were to leave the confines of Gillette Stadium. Still, it wouldn't be the first time a highly respected Patriot has departed.
There was the Randy Moss deal two years ago, the Richard Seymour trade to Oakland in 2009, the Deion Branch trade to Seattle early in the 2006 season and even the Lawyer Milloy release before the 2002 season opener.