Wes Welker Is Making a Mistake Testing Free Agency

Jonathan Cullen@@jcullen71Senior Writer IMarch 6, 2013

Welker would be making a mistake leaving the Patriots.
Welker would be making a mistake leaving the Patriots.Elsa/Getty Images

After hearing the past couple of days that Wes Welker might be closing in on a deal with the New England Patriots, now comes word this morning from ESPN's Adam Schefter that Welker has decided to test the waters in free agency.

I understand the thought process, but it is a mistake for Welker. He is not going to find another team that fits him as well as the Patriots or with a QB like Tom Brady.

Brady recently restructured his contract to free up salary cap space for New England going into free agency. The expectation with the deal was that the club would then work towards a deal with Welker with the new cap room.

Maybe it is Welker's ego coming into play. Maybe he is unhappy with the way he has been treated by the Patriots, something that is mentioned in this report by Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole.

In the report by Cole it is stated that Welker has "mild disdain" for the Patriots due to the way he was treated by New England during the opening game of the 2012 season, targeting him for a season-low five passes.

But, the 31-year-old Welker needs to be careful here. He has had a near Hall of Fame-type career while playing for the Patriots. Even with the opening game of the 2012 season factored in, he still had 118 receptions for New England.

During his six-year career with the Patriots, Welker has been the best possession receiver in the game, averaging 112 receptions per season while scoring 37 touchdowns. He fits the Patriots' offense like a glove and is the favorite target of Brady.


Understated in all of the contract discussions is Welker's extreme toughness. He is constantly taking big hits from other teams and popping back up. He has been an incredibly reliable receiver, having lost only two fumbles during his six seasons in New England.

Is Welker going to find the same success while playing for another organization in the NFL? It is a question that he needs to ask himself during the countdown to free agency.

Can Bill Belichick and the Patriots be cold-hearted, ruthless and arrogant? The same traits that can make New England difficult to cheer for is why they are so successful.

The Patriots hardly ever let sentiment enter into their decision-making, even with star players.

Once Welker hits free agency, all bets are off. Welker may get offered more money elsewhere and end up signing a contract that he'll regret in a couple of years.

The Patriots? They'll likely move on to someone in the draft or bring in someone like the St. Louis Rams' possession receiver Danny Amendola. In an odd coincidence, Amendola went to the same college, Texas Tech, as Welker.

Hopefully, Welker will realize that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Because the Patriots won't look back.  

Information used from Matt Garafolo/USA Today, Peter King/SI, NFL/Patriots.com, NFL/St. Louis Rams