Wes Welker on The Way Out in New England?
Despite leading the league in receptions with 122 catches in 2011 the Patriots stocked up heavily on receivers this offseason signing four veteran targets in what was already a pretty deep group.
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The New England Patriots had the 2nd best passing attack in the league last season, 2nd only to the Saints in a season when Drew Brees broke Marino’s passing yardage record. Tom Brady and company totalled 5,235 passing yards and 401 completions 122 of which went to league leader Wes Welker. So why is it that there is talk Welker could be searching for a new home by next season if not traded by the trade deadline this year? Welker has been a very solid player for the Patriots after coming out of virtually nowhere in a trade with the Dolphins. He has since caught 554 passes for 6,105 yards and 31 touchdowns during his time with the Patriots, he however has had an injury to an acl in the past and is nearly 32 years old. The guys signed this offseason aren’t exactly the youngest guys around but Brandon Lloyd is only a season removed from leading the league in reception yards with Orton as his quarterback, Jabar Gaffney is a former Patriot player who has shown at times he can be a solid number 2 target, Anthony Gonzalez when healthy is a very solid receiver and former 1st round pick, while also signing Donte Stallworth. As if that wasn’t enough they drafted Jeremy Ebert in the 7th round, and resigned Deion Branch already 32 himself. Keep in mind this is a roster who also still has Chad Ocho Cinco, Mathew Slater, Britt Davis and Julian Edelman. So that’s 10 receivers total.
10 receivers and 5 were brought in this offseason? Welker has been adimate about his desire to get a long term deal but he has plenty of doubters saying he is a product of the system in New England and that younger and more physically talented players could take this offense to new heights which is where Brandon Lloyd, Anthony Gonzalez, Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth come into play. Which brings to light another reason why the Patriots are skeptical about resigning him to a long term deal. I eventually think he’ll get a 2 year deal if he’s willing to sign it . However with such depth who are the odd men out? Chad Ocho Cinco, Mathew Slater, Julian Edelman, Britt Davis, and Anthony Gonzalez are all on the bubble.