It’s that time of the year again in the NFL; the off season contract talks between players and their teams. Several players in the 2012 off season are currently unhappy with their contract talks, such as running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, and wide receiver Wes Welker of the New England Patriots. Welker, who is looking for a long-term deal and a higher paying contract, is upset with the New England Patriots front office over this past week. He has not received a contract that is both long-term or high paying, and he believes his work is going unappreciated by the franchise. Owner Robert Kraft of the Patriots has stated that the team and the representatives of wide receiver Wes Welker are in negotiations for a new deal.
Wes Welker went undrafted in the 2004 NFL Draft. Eventually, Welker was signed by the San Diego Chargers, and was later released from the team. From 2005-2006, for two season Welker played for the Miami Dolphins. During that time, he began to stir heads around the NFL. Welker not only was a wide receiver, but he also returned kick-offs and punts. In 2007, the New England Patriots traded a second, and seventh round drafts picks for Wes Welker. It was one of the best investment the New England Patriots made since drafting quarterback Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft. It was a huge upgrade for the Patriots offense.
Welker has played for the Patriots for five seasons, from 2007-2011. Since 2007, Welker has been a huge offensive threat for the Patriots, and he has been one of the NFL’s top wide receivers every season. So far in his professional career, Welker has 650 receptions, 7,226 receiving yards, and 32 touchdowns. His career took new heights and was elevated when he became a Patriot. During his time with the team, Welker has 554 receptions, 6,105 receiving yards, and 31 touchdowns. Welker has been selected to four Pro Bowl selections in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. He has yet to win a Superbowl, losing in both his appearances in Superbowl XLII in 2008, and Superbowl XLVI in 2012. Welker has been a prized asset of the Patriots, and the team hopes that he will stay in the near future, despite the latest contract disputes.
During the 2012 NFL off season Welker has been seeking a new contract that is both long-term and high-paying. To his frustration, the Patriots took a different route, and decided to use the “franchise tag,” which the team offered a one-year $9.5 million deal for the upcoming 2012 season. Welker has been very disappointed with his treatment, and ill feelings have been expressed from both him and the New England Patriots front office. The tag also has a 2013 option for another one-year deal, which would give Welker more than $11.41 million. Both sides are still in negotiations, but it is very clear that the relationship between Welker and the Patriots has been stained.
Wes Welker is arguably one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, earning him a spot in the top 5. He has been a phenomenal offensive weapon and threat for quarterback Tom Brady. He has the ability to catch short and long-range passes, and quickly run to earn extra yardage. He is not only a wide-receiver, but he can also return kickoffs and punts. He can also be used on the defensive side of the football as well. He is a prime asset to have on any NFL team, and the Patriots would be extremely stupid if they do not give Welker what he wants at the end of the 2012 season. Welker deserves a long-term, high-paying deal, and he is still young, at the age of only 31. Owner Robert Kraft and his front office will get a new deal for Welker no matter what it takes. The only question is, when will this deal get done? What will the details of this new contract contain? Only time will tell. Welker must not express his frustrations, and so far he has failed to do so. Last week, he blasted the teammates. We will have to wait and see how this soap opera will play out.