The New England Patriots were able to keep two of their big three free agents this offseason, as they secured a four-year contract with Sebastian Vollmer last week that featured some great cap management by the Patriots in order to retain an elite right tackle. Wes Welker, however, was the one left behind, so to speak, after the Patriots decided to sign Danny Amendola and not risk losing both in free agency.
Vollmer has only kind words to speak of Welker, which comes as no surprise. Vollmer is a consummate professional, and he and Welker seemed to forge a great relationship in New England. Per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald Vollmer stated, “I don’t know what happened, and I’m not willing to talk for him or for anyone else. But obviously he’s a great football player, and I really enjoyed playing with him and over the years, just seeing what he can do, and I wish him all the best.”
That’s a great statement from Vollmer and one that rings true in so many different ways. Welker was an integral part of this team and someone whose presence in the locker room will be sorely missed. One thing that stood out to me this past season was when Wes Welker took a giant shot from Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner, and it looked like the massive CB dealt Welker a blow that would take him out of the game. Instead, Welker got back up, returned to the game shortly after, and he proceeded to make a solid impact in the loss.
Welker’s durability and fun-loving spirit will be missed, and we should wish him the best. As for Vollmer, I hope he stays healthy this season, because he is one of the game’s elite tackles when he is healthy. I always love reading through comments of athletes praising other athletes, especially when it’s a player like Vollmer who is complimenting a departing player in Welker. Sometimes, it helps us keep things in perspective.
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