Remember when Julian Edelman was getting more attention on offense than Wes Welker early last season? Looks like Welker still hasn’t forgiven the New England Patriots, or Josh McDaniels, for that.
According to reports from Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, Welker holds a “mild disdain” over the organization for him being phased out of the offense early in the season.
What’s important to consider is Welker’s somewhat mild disdain for the Patriots right now, according to a source close to the player. Welker apparently is a little miffed at how he was treated in last year’s opener, when offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had him targeted for a season-low five pass attempts that resulted in a season-low three receptions.
That bit of tweaking stuck in Welker’s craw all season. So did the notion that if tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski hadn’t both gotten hurt at different times, there’s a strong belief that Welker would have been limited to far fewer than the 118 receptions he finished with last season. In short, there’s a little paranoia in the Welker camp these days about his role with the Pats.
Obviously, no No.1 receiver would be happy with five targets in a game while others are getting the most attention on the field, but the notion that he was being “phased out” may be a bit far-fetched.
Since the arrival of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, Tom Brady has attempted to share the wealth between his three best receivers keeping the defense honest. Plus, the first game of the season was Welker’s only five-target game. He never had eight or less targets after Week 1.
But as the star wide out on the club, Welker has a reason to make sure he remains the focus of this offense that is dictated by the tight-end play. The “Patriot Way” is known for it’s next-man up mentality and with Edelman being groomed in the wings to become the “next Wes Welker”, Wes has a reason to be worried.
By March 12, Welker will become an unrestricted free agent, but the two sides are working on an agreement, as sources point out. It’ll be between sharing the rock with Edelman/Gronk/Hernandez and staying with Brady, one of the best quarterback-receiver tandems in the history of the league, or taking more money on the table and possibly be less effective elsewhere.
Only time will tell which one he chooses.