New England Patriots: Brady Gronk and Welker


December 11, 2011; Landover, MD, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) celebrates with quarterback Tom Brady (12) and wide receiver Wes Welker (83) after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the first quarter quarter at FedEx Field. The Patriots won 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Today the Patriots reached a  three year contract extension with quarterback Tom Brady, which is worth around 27 million dollars. After seeing the huge amount of money being given to quarterbacks recently (Peyton Manning and Drew Brees) the money Brady took may come as a surprise to some. However, Pats fans know that Brady is the kind of guy that puts the team before himself, and he showed it once again with this extension. Realistically talking, I think Brady could have taken somewhere around 50-55 million dollars with his new contract, but he knew that the Pats needed to spend money elsewhere and he willingly took a “pay cut”. There are very few NFL players out there that would do something like this, and we as Pats fans are extremely lucky that our best player is one of them.

The main guy I think that this will affect is Wes Welker. Before Brady’s deal was made , I think that signing Welker to a long term deal was very unlikely. A ton of the Patriots cap space was going to be tied up with Brady’s deal, and now that Brady signed this extension, the Patriots have more room to operate with their free agents. The Patriots do have a lot of free agents to deal with, but I think that this helps Welker the most. Out of the three main free agents the Pats have (Talib, Vollmer, and Welker) I think Welker is going to command the most money. The Patriots now have some more money to float to Welker, and try to get him to come back with the Pats. Another reason I think there is a better chance that  Welker is going to be resigned is because there have been a lot of reports that there has not been as much interest in Welker on the free agent market as people may have thought. This definitely gives the Pats some leverage when it comes to negotiating Welker’s deal. Bottom line is, with Brady’s new deal I think the likelihood that Welker is signed to a long term deal just skyrocketed.

It was recently reported that Rob Gronkowski had another surgery last week to help heal an infection that he received after his surgery to fix his broken forearm after the Divisional Round playoff game. If everything goes well, then Gronk will not miss any time in 2013. However, in my mind it brings up an issue with the Patriots. If Gronkowski actually would miss some time in 2013, and Wes Welker is not resigned, then where does that leave the Patriots offense? I mean, Welker is Brady’s “go to” guy, and Gronk is a mismatch nightmare. If both of these guys were gone for a period of time then I think the Patriots offense becomes very normal. I don’t think the Pats would completely unravel offensively, but aside from Hernandez and Lloyd, they would have nobody to go to. This gives another reason for the Pats to try and resign Welker, the whole Patriots team is built around their offense, and when that unit takes a dip in production the whole team is in trouble.