As the Patriots and Wes Welker continue to discuss a long-term extension for the receiver, one NFL analyst has weighed in with advice for the team: tread lightly before investing in Tom Brady’s favorite target at a price tag that places him amongst the top-paid wideouts in all of football.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com lays out three reasons why the Patriots should not break the bank for Welker:
1. Welker’s age (31), noting that 30 is the “tipping point on most players careers."
2. The Patriots’ production-maximizing offensive system.
3. Welker is a slot receiver, rather than a true No. 1 receiver (he classifies Welker more as a “role” player).
To read Brooks’ piece, click HERE.
While Brooks details three reasons for the Patriots to be wary of breaking the bank, Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe takes a different approach in his Sunday notes by mapping out a proposal for the sides to meet in the middle.
Bedard lists reasons that Welker should be a priority for the Patriots on a deal that averages $10 million per season, with $18-20 million in bonuses/guarantees:
1. Welker is a rare player, the exception more than the rule.
2. Saving the team money in the long run.
3. He represents what the Patriots want their players to be.
To read Bedard's piece, click HERE (registration required).
It’s likely that debate will continue on this subject until the two sides are able to come to an agreement on a long-term pact, or July 16 – the final day for teams to sign extensions with franchised players – passes.