The New England Patriots and Wes Welker could not come to an agreement yesterday. He will play the next season at a 1 year contract worth $9.5 million. Now that the deadline has passed, the Patriots cannot renegotiate with Welker until after the season is over.
Other notable players such as Ray Rice (5 years $40 Million) and Matt Forte (4 years $32 Million) struck deals just before the deadline yesterday, getting the payday they deserved.
Welker, with 330 catches in the past three years, wasn’t as lucky. He had earlier signed the franchise tender to show the Patriots faith, but by doing so may have cornered himself. The Patriots felt no reason to sign a 31 year old reciever who has previously torn his ACL to a long term contract when they have him for this season. Whether they will franchise him again next year, sign him to a longer contract, or just let him go remains to be seen.
I would have liked to see the Patriots sign Welker to a 3 year deal totally anywhere from $24-28 million. That would have been around the same contract that they gave to Randy Moss. Reward him for always being true to the Patriots and the hard work that he has given them. If he plays well anyways they are going to be on the hook for over $11 million to franchise him again, or give him a new three year contract. This just doesn’t seem to make much sense from the Patriots standpoint, unless they are counting Welker to have a down year.