NFL Rumors: Indianapolis Colts to Trade for New England Patriots WR Wes Welker?

By Bryn Swartz

Indianapolis Colts general manager Jim Irsay has tweeted multiple times in the past day that he is working on a big trade which involves giving up a high draft pick for a veteran/starter.

Unconfirmed reports from Twitter from an account known as Colts Insiders indicate that the Indianapolis Colts could be close to acquiring veteran wide receiver Wes Welker from the New England Patriots.

According to the reports, Welker was held out of practice when the talks heated up and was scratched from the New England Patriots’ preseason game on Friday night. The source also says that Welker has no current injury. He claims that multiple picks are included in the deal, none of which is a first round draft pick, and that the deal likely would not be completed before Sunday due to the Colts and Patriots both playing this weekend.

Welker is now 31 so it’s difficult to imagine what the Patriots could get for him. However, he has been one of the most productive wide receivers in the league over the past five seasons. He’s led the league in catches three times, averaging 111.2 catches per season since 2007. This includes the 2010 season, when he caught just 86 passes while working his way back from a torn ACL. He’s averaged 1221 receiving yards and six touchdowns per season.

Then again, he’s been arguably the perfect fit for New England’s system, led by an all-time great at head coach in Bill Belichick and one of the greatest quarterbacks ever in Tom Brady. He’d still be a very successful slot receiver in Indianapolis but he likely wouldn’t duplicate his numbers from New England.

If he did join the Colts, he would team with veteran Reggie Wayne to give rookie number one draft pick Andrew Luck a pair of very reliable targets at wide receiver. Throw in rookie tight end Coby Fleener, who went to college with Luck, and you know who Luck’s three favorite targets will be in 2012.

Adding Welker would also make sense for the Colts because receiver Austin Collie can’t be counted on to stay free of concussions. Then again, a 31-year old slot receiver who is looking for a massive contract is definitely not the type of player who you would expect to join a stud rookie quarterback on a rebuilding team.

Personally, I don’t know why any player would want to leave New England. Welker is a key part of the Patriots’ offense, which only got better in the offseason by adding veteran wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, the NFL’s receiving yards leader in 2010, and veteran tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who should catch at least 20 passes even as the team’s third tight end.

Take him away and Tom Brady lost his security blanket. I can’t see Belichick making such a move, especially right before the start of the season. Why strengthen a potential conference rival for the next few seasons while weakening your own team for the time being?

As of now, I’d say this is nothing more than a rumor. The fact that the guy who tweeted it has just 235 followers tells me that it’s not going to happen. It’s always the main beat writers who find out these deals first, not the bloggers.

We’ll see what happens.

This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.

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