Wes Welker is a fine receiver, but his value would diminish greatly if he left the New England Patriots this offseason.
The Patriots have until March 12 to re-sign Welker before he hits free agency.
Check that. Welker has until March 12 to re-sign with the Patriots.
It seems preposterous to say Welker wouldn't have a multitude of options if he became a free agent. He's racked up more than 100 catches and more than 1,000 yards in five of his six seasons in Foxborough.
But the reality is, he doesn't have a multitude of options.
ESPN's Ed Werder reported on SportsCenter on Tuesday that Welker would have "minimal" suitors if he hit the market this offseason, per Rotoworld.com. And it's not hard to figure out why.
Welker turns 32 years old in May. That's significant considering he's a slot receiver who has relied on his speed throughout his career to make up for his 5'9", 185-pound frame. It doesn't help that he's never had exceptional hands.
Secondly, while the veteran wideout has flourished in Foxborough for years, the Patriots' spread schemes plays to his strengths. It's unclear if he would be able to fit in as well on another team.
Welker not only has Tom Brady throwing to him, he's also developed a clear connection with the eight-time Pro Bowler since joining the Patriots in 2007. He's been the team's most targeted receiver for the past five seasons. Last season, he was targeted 174 times, fourth in the NFL and the most in his career with Brady and company.
Another thing: Teams are developing more creative game plans these days. That includes using speedy slot receivers to their upmost potential. The rise of explosive West Virginia wideout Tavon Austin in draft boards across the country is an indicator of the growing interest in young playmakers.
Why would a team spend boatloads of money on an aging receiver like Welker when it can get the same home-run ability with a younger, quicker player that fits the mold?
Not only is Welker an asset to the Patriots, they complete him. They also value him more than most teams, evident by the relatively mild interest he seems to be receiving from around the league.
Welker has a good home in Foxborough. He should retire in that home instead of finding a new place of residence and ruining what he has built with the Patriots.
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