The New England Patriots have been known to put the organization before their players [unless your the 2x Super Bowl MVP quarterback]. Their track record speaks for itself. It happened to Troy Brown. It happened with Ty Law. It happened with Deion Branch after he won the Super Bowl MVP. It happened to Asante Samuel. It happened to Richard Seymour. And most recently Randy Moss was the most recent victim, but his attitude has half of the problem also.
Now Wes Welker may be the latest to experience the “Patriot Way”. He wants to be paid. The thing is the Patriots don’t want to pay the 31 year old receiver to a long term contract when he could be on the tail-end of his career.
The signs are pointing in all directions that the Patriots are moving on from Welker, who has been the focus of the offense since his signing in 2007. Now his play has certainly decreased this season. Julian Edelman is getting the reps that Welker would have gotten next season. This is leading to theories that the Pats may be preparing to rid themselves of Welker. If they are open to trading Wes, here are potential suitors that could use Wes Welker’s services for the remainder of the 2011-2012 season.
The Chicago Bears have a legit number one wide receiver for the first time in a long time and some will say that Brandon Marshall, talent wise, may be the best wide out in the franchises history. After Marshall the inexperience sets in. The Bears traded away a potential comfort-blanket in Greg Olsen a few years back, and with Wes Welker on the field, it’ll open things up for Alshaun Jeffery and Devin Hester. The addition of Welker will also allow the Matt Forte x Michael Bush combo to be more explosive. It’s what Jay Cutler needs and a simpler offense is what Chicago needs. It’s clear that after their Thurday Night Game against the Green Bay Packers, the Bears need a reliable receiver that can create separation and move the chains.
What better gift to give your rookie quarterback in Andrew Luck than Wes Welker. The real question is whether Bill Belichick would send the receiver to a team within the division, but with their current roster they wouldn’t be a threat to New England in the playoffs for a few years. It seems like the kind of move Jim Irsay would make to bring some buzz to his team. The move won’t make the Colts a contender this year, but it would speed up the progression of Luck and make things easier for him as the year goes on. It’ll also make veteran receiver Reggie Wayne extra happy when he doesn’t have to see a double team every play. Welker’s presence can also open up the running game as the Colts are 29th in the league in rushing yards per game this season.
If it was up to Larry Fitzgerald, Welker would be on a first-class trip to Arizona by the time this article is posted. At 2-0, the Cardinals are tied with the San Francisco 49ers for first place in the NFC West. With a stout defense and Patrick Peterson manning special teams, it’s clear the offense is the weakest link on this team. They are 30th in total yards (249), 30th in passing yards per game (175) and 28th in rushing yards per game (74). Fitzgerald needs desperate help; the type of help he had when Anquan Boldin was opposite side him. With Welker, the field opens up for arguably the best receiver in the world and will make the job of John Skelton or Kevin Kolb a tad bit easier. With first round pick Michael Floyd invisible in the first two game, a Wes Welker to pull away linebackers and defensive backs would increase this teams chances of winning the division or making a wild card slot.