The Miami Dolphins are going to do everything they can to bring in playmakers in the passing game to help out young quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and they are already heavily targeting the top deep threat in the market in Mike Wallace of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Dolphins are also reportedly in heavy talks with Brandon Gibson of the St. Louis Rams, but there is one intriguing player the ‘Fins are said to be interested in who is different from the others.
Wes Welker, unlike Wallace and Gibson, isn’t a playmaker who can stretch the field. But unlike Wallace and Gibson, Welker is consistent, a known commodity, and a player who once played for the Dolphins organization. Granted, he wasn’t used much outside of returns for most of his career, but people forget that he caught 67 passes (Joey Harrington was their starting quarterback) with the Dolphins in his final season in Miami. That season put him on the New England Patriots radar, and it started an unprecedented run of greatness from one of the NFL’s best feel-good stories. Undrafted receiver turned elite slot guy who catches 100 passes a year.
Anyway, it’s interesting to see that the Dolphins are reportedly showing interest in Welker, since he doesn’t fit the type of receiver the Dolphins are seemingly targeting. But Welker is so good that he would more than replace Davone Bess and would give the Dolphins a true No. 1 receiver- in a different way. Even if you don’t think Welker is a true No. 1 wideout, the Dolphins might be wiser to sign both Welker and Gibson (he can stretch the field vertically and make plays) instead of just Wallace.
While Wallace is an excellent fit for the Dolphins and the Dolphins are the favorites to land him, he will also get overpaid in a bidding war. Wallace is rumored to get anywhere between $11 million and $14 million, which is a crazy number for a player who is a one-trick pony. He has speed, but he doesn’t have good hands and is a putrid route-runner- all he can run is a “go” route.
Welker might not want to go back to the Dolphins, and I hope he doesn’t. He has a much better situation with the New England Patriots and Tom Brady than he would for his old team, and I don’t even think a pay raise (that might not be significant given the Dolphins interest in Wallace and Gibson) justifies heading down south for Welker.
At this point in time, the Dolphins are likely just dabbling with minor interest in Welker and are heavily targeting Wallace with Gibson as a Plan B in case they cannot land their priority playmaking wideout on the free agent market.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.