The New England Patriots and Wes Welker broke off talks yesterday, per Ian Rapoport, and the Boston Herald reported this morning that both sides were “miles apart” on getting a deal done. This comes in contrast to the optimism relayed by beat guys like Mike Reiss and Greg Bedard, and the Wes Welker saga continues to take new turns.
Yesterday, Rapoport reported that Welker never received an offer. Today, another NFL Network insider and former Patriots beat writer, Albert Breer, is reporting something different. Breer tweeted that “Word around the league” is that the Patriots gave Welker a “substantially” low offer, and that Welker is “seriously considering” leaving the New England Patriots.
This all seems agent driven to me. So I’m supposed to believe that the Patriots didn’t give Welker an offer, and then suddenly low-balled him? I know they embrace the hardball tactic, but this seems agent-driven to me. First off, Robert Kraft has stated several times that he wants Wes Welker back, and I definitely believe him. I mean, what else was Tom Brady‘s main motivation for restructuring his deal and freeing up a huge amount of cap space for the 2013 and 2014 seasons? He wants his man Welker back.
The reason why we are so confused about all this Welker stuff is because all of it seems to be agent-driven. As Mike Loyko of NE Patriots Draft tweeted, players who reiterate the fact that they are willing to leave as often as Welker is most likely don’t want to leave. If Welker really did have better offers on the table, then he would have left already- or we would have heard about it.
I mean, if we are hearing so many reports about how the Pats low-balled Welker (or that they didn’t offer him), then we should be hearing about teams being linked to Welker. But no, I haven’t seen a single report out there linking a team to Welker with sources attached to it. None.
The Patriots play hardball, and Welker is trying to play hardball back. It isn’t working. If his agents don’t start focusing more on getting a deal done, then the Patriots might not wait around for him- they might just decide to stick with good replacement in Danny Amendola. While the Pats- and I- would prefer to have Welker, at some point things are going to fall apart. Maybe Welker is waiting for somebody else to sign Amendola, but what if that team is the Patriots?
Most of the news regarding Welker is agent-driven, and that’s why I still think he will be back. Welker is going to realize that the market for him isn’t robust at all, and that his clear best option is staying with the Pats, Brady, and the rest of his buddies whilst gunning for a ring. His best option isn’t with the Miami Dolphins, who are in a position where they probably can’t spend more money than the Pats. In fact, I don’t even see a better financial deal for Welker out there. If there was, then a player so “willing” to leave would have left already, right?
I don’t buy a lot of this stuff, and I don’t think most other fans are buying it either.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.