Patriots: Revisiting the 2007 Offseason

Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports /
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Wes Welker Patriots
Nov 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Wes Welker (19) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Traded a second- and seventh-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for Wes Welker and signed Welker to a five-year, $18.1 million contract

How great is it that the Patriots’ career leader in receptions was stolen from a division rival? Patriots Hall of Famer Troy Brown was at the end of his historic career, and the Patriots needed to find a replacement in the slot. The Patriots were committed to the former undrafted free agent who had just broken out of his shell, and he was handed a lengthy contract.

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That next season, Welker exploded with the Patriots, racking up 112 receptions, 1,175 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns, and Welker’s production continued as he became one of the top receivers in the league. Throughout his time in New England, Welker proved to be Brady’s most reliable connection and cemented his legacy, even if there were some bumps (see: Super Bowl XLVI) along the way.

Similar to the trade for Moss, the Patriots acquired an extremely productive receiver for peanuts. With the picks the Patriots traded, the Dolphins selected C Samson Satele, who started 48 games with the Dolphins, and ED Abraham Wright, who never played a down in the NFL. Welker had a major role in creating one of the best offenses of all-time, and he helped reinvent the Patriots’ scheme for the future.

Next: 2. Signing Donte' Stallworth