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Pats remain the favorite for Welker, but barely

Wes Welker AP

With Patriots receiver Wes Welker planning to test the market, the question becomes the outcome of the looming experiment.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Pats remain the favorite to retain Welker.  That said, one or two teams could intervene.

“It’s close,” the source explained.

As of Saturday, teams officially can begin talking with the agents of free agents.  Unofficially, conversations surely have happened.

Staying in New England presents a stew of conflicting concerns for Welker.  He surely wants to continue playing with quarterback Tom Brady, even if every time the sure-handed Welker fails to catch a poorly-thrown ball the media and fans deem it a “drop.”

Then there’s the fact that, before tight end Aaron Hernandez sprained an ankle early in the 2012 regular season, Hernandez appeared to be the team’s new slot receiver, with Welker being phased out.  Welker reportedly fears that could happen again.

And the “take less to win more” vibe undoubtedly has made its way into the negotiations, with Brady’s recent contract becoming the $27 million elephant in the room.  The Pats know how to get business done on their terms, and if Brady was subtly cajoled into taking less how could anyone else complain?

In the end, Welker has to ask himself whether he wants more money or another chance to finish what the team started in 2007, when he was in his first year of the relatively modest long-term deal that expired after the 2011 season.

Of course, chasing the money also could result in playing with a quarterback whose periodic poor throws won’t be blamed on the guy who wasn’t able to make the difficult catch.

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65 Responses to “Pats remain the favorite for Welker, but barely”
  1. raiderufan says: Mar 6, 2013 1:28 PM

    Can we just get an article that says “we have no idea what Welker is thinking” and leave it at that until he makes a decision?

  2. revanslightsaber says: Mar 6, 2013 1:30 PM

    Even if they do lose him you know full well they’ll get Amendola to replace him.

  3. jpack1974 says: Mar 6, 2013 1:30 PM

    you can’t say Brady makes bad throws……what is wrong with you

  4. Obama's Ballsack says: Mar 6, 2013 1:31 PM

    Wes Welker still owes me money…

  5. patsbbfan says: Mar 6, 2013 1:31 PM

    I think he wants to see what the league values him at… let’s say it is 10M per year or 8M or whatever. Then he at least knows what the offer from the Pats is compared against. Then he knows, I am trading $1M per year to stay with Pats or I am making more with Pats than others or ????

    The alternative is to always wonder.

    What is the danger to waiting another week to have this reference point? Maybe he loses a little with the offer from the Pats if others value him less but is this likely? I doubt it and so does he.

    If I were him I would wait also…..

  6. marvsleezy says: Mar 6, 2013 1:31 PM

    AFC East teams should look hard, its not just about the addition to your team, its about the subtraction from the team that wins the division EVERY YEAR.

  7. cpo187 says: Mar 6, 2013 1:32 PM

    Welker and Harvin…just swap teams.

  8. Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop says: Mar 6, 2013 1:33 PM

    Why would he want to play with Brady or for BB? They never take the blame for anything, can’t win without cheating and get a pass on it all from their fans and the media. Welker is better than that.

  9. captainwisdom8888 says: Mar 6, 2013 1:37 PM

    I can see Welker being the improved version of Brandon Stokely for Peyton Manning, or possibly lockin down the over-the-middle routes in Detroit while Calvin draws the attention outside. Aside from those 2 teams, my mind’s eye sees Welker in a Texans Jersey for some reason…

  10. toledoohoh says: Mar 6, 2013 1:40 PM

    “And the “take less to win more” vibe undoubtedly has made its way into the negotiations”

    undoubtedly? pure guesswork.

  11. pftusername1 says: Mar 6, 2013 1:40 PM

    Ok Florio, so now you take the road that Brady took less money and the Pats may put leverage on Welker because of it. I don’t get, you spent the last two weeks criticizing the Brady deal and how it wasn’t really a ‘deal’ at all. Which is it??

  12. MTLighthouse69 says: Mar 6, 2013 1:40 PM

    I can’t see how anyone can expect Welker to take a hometown discount. He has never gotten the huge contract, in NFL terms. He should be going for the money now, because chances are it will be his one and only chance at signing a big contract.

  13. pixelito says: Mar 6, 2013 1:43 PM

    He dropped the pass that probably would’ve won Superbowl 46.

  14. Patskrieg dot com says: Mar 6, 2013 1:47 PM

    “every time the sure-handed Welker fails to catch a poorly-thrown ball the media and fans deem it a “drop.”

    Oh come on now. I love Welker and give him all the respect in the world. But he’s definitely brain-farted his share of passes. If Brady and Welker can’t connect it’s usually a mis-communication, or the ball hits Welker right in the hands and his drops it.

    It’s bound to happen when you get 150+ targets a year. He’s still the best player at his position by far. But let’s not get silly and try to insinuate that there is some kind of evil conspiracy in place to protect Brady from criticism.

  15. deliveredbysherpa says: Mar 6, 2013 1:47 PM

    The early part of last season is easily explained as BB trying to save some wear and tear on WW. BB likely knows that Wes takes a beating and having him sit a little more early would ideally mean he has more left when it counts. Injuries play a huge part of winning it all, do you think the Patriots would have lost had they had Wes, Gronkowski, and Hernandez all near 100% for the Championship game? The Ravens were suffering from injuries just prior to the playoffs, but healed up in time, the Patriots weren’t as lucky (on the injury front).

    [Note I am not saying that the Ravens were lucky to win the Super Bowl--they earned it.]

  16. kixtart1 says: Mar 6, 2013 1:48 PM

    “Of course, chasing the money also could result in playing with a quarterback whose periodic poor throws won’t be blamed on the guy who wasn’t able to make the difficult catch.”

    No longer surprised by these comments from such a hack…

  17. bigwii says: Mar 6, 2013 1:48 PM

    They can’t win without cheating is that why they have the best record in the NFL since 2007 and please tell me you have proof because there’s none that says they still do. It was just a camera infraction if you want to use that as an excuse to hate on them that’s your right. It’s sad that that’s all you can come up with anymore.

    A lot if people would like to play with Brady and Hoodie they get the best out of people. Patriot haters are hilarious because he things they say are so baseless and dumb sometimes its hard to read because its so ignorant.

    Welker will go where he thinks is best he’s earned that right but that doesn’t give all the haters an excuse to right all these comments hating on the Pats no matter what article it is if its related to the Pats there is at least 20 dumb hate comments its sad.

  18. ItIsWhatitis says: Mar 6, 2013 1:50 PM

    Pats will sign a free agent and Welker’s bargaining power will be reduced and result in him getting less than he would have if he signed already. Bad strategy Wes.

  19. saint2112 says: Mar 6, 2013 1:51 PM

    Remember this Wes, nobody knew who you were before you played for the Patriots,

  20. tcmiller30 says: Mar 6, 2013 1:52 PM

    The option that never seems to be mentioned is that he could sign elsewhere for more and have an equal or greater chance of winning than he does in NE! I don’t understand why people think, if he leaves it’s only because he wants more money. He could go to SF or DEN or Baltimore or Houston or Green Bay and have an equal or greater chance of winning than he does in NE.

    Contrary to popular believe, the Pats haven’t won anything since 2005, and their three Superbowl teams had top 6 scoring defenses.

    Sure, his chances would decrease with most teams, but there are some where he could take equal or greater pay to have an equal or greater chance of winning.

  21. heyitsmejosh says: Mar 6, 2013 1:53 PM

    the guy wasnt very good without brady and still wont be good outside that system.. he needs to go out and talk to the long line of patriots who have left that system to chase the money while tanking their career

  22. brazy44 says: Mar 6, 2013 1:56 PM

    Welker would be good in Atlanta with Matty Ice and those other two on the outside. That would be scary good. He could help ease the loss of Tony G.

  23. kgsmith says: Mar 6, 2013 1:57 PM

    Beezo..
    Would you get over the “cheating” aspect of every conversation regarding NE.. That was how long ago? And if my info is right, the Pats were not the only team to video tape.. I am sure the team you root for has never had a player or coach ever do anything that was not right..

  24. xxsweepthelegxx says: Mar 6, 2013 1:58 PM

    Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop says:
    Mar 6, 2013 1:33 PM
    Why would he want to play with Brady or for BB? They never take the blame for anything, can’t win without cheating and get a pass on it all from their fans and the media. Welker is better than that.
    ——————-
    Oh yeah….Brady always blames others… where do you come up with this drivel ? Obviously you’ve never seen a pre/post game interview with either Brady or BB. No one is forcing you to like the guys but at least be honest with yourself. Personally, I’ve never seen a more annoying team that constantly builds up their opponent and always says “we need to be better at xyz” or “they just executed better.” For once I’d love to hear Brady say to the camera’s “Suggs is annoying, he talks to much and I want to light him today” or something. Just once. I can dream.

  25. bullcharger says: Mar 6, 2013 1:59 PM

    That is all nonsense… Brady get’s blamed for losing both Super Bowls and takes the brunt of all the media pressure on the subject. Don’t think Welker takes the blame solely. Fact is the ball went through his hands. That’s on him, but the game isn’t lost in one play. Brady threw a pick to a LB playing down field when Hernandez was wide open and was sacked and never played the same afterward. Welker isn’t taking the fault for the loss more than Brady.

    There will be pressure where ever he goes if it is a good team with a good QB.

  26. swagger52 says: Mar 6, 2013 2:00 PM

    Brady needs Welker, otherwise Brady is easily beatable in the Playoffs. It doesn’t matter the regular season because the AFC Least is so weak. Pay da man!

  27. dlk47823 says: Mar 6, 2013 2:00 PM

    welker is pissed that he did not get his long term deal last year, and he wants to make the Pats pay top $. The Pats will feel the pressure after the Brady deal, will look real bad if he walks…

  28. wiley16350 says: Mar 6, 2013 2:01 PM

    Why would he want to play with Brady or for BB? They never take the blame for anything, can’t win without cheating and get a pass on it all from their fans and the media. Welker is better than that.
    ______________________________________
    You have obviously never listened to a Brady or Belicheck press conference if you can make the comment that they never take blame for things. Absolute stupidity is unforgivable.

  29. bullcharger says: Mar 6, 2013 2:02 PM

    Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop says:Mar 6, 2013 1:33 PM

    Why would he want to play with Brady or for BB? They never take the blame for anything, can’t win without cheating and get a pass on it all from their fans and the media. Welker is better than that.

    —————-

    “we have to coach better” is the opening statement Belichick makes after every loss. Brady only blames himself in any post game speech and the Patriots win a lot. More than any other team. Welker is better than what?

  30. johnnyoclock says: Mar 6, 2013 2:03 PM

    Sign with Philly

  31. swagger52 says: Mar 6, 2013 2:03 PM

    This is written to make it sound like Wes favors the Patriots, versus the fact that one anonymous guy thinks the Patriots are still the favorites to retain him. This is a non story with non sources. It must have been written by a Patriot Cheerleader at CBX

  32. bullcharger says: Mar 6, 2013 2:04 PM

    marvsleezy says:Mar 6, 2013 1:31 PM

    AFC East teams should look hard, its not just about the addition to your team, its about the subtraction from the team that wins the division EVERY YEAR.

    —————–

    Welker won’t go to an AFC East team just to get paid. They have no chance of winning anything before his career is done. Denver or Indy in the AFC make the most sense. Lots of teams in the NFC could use him.

  33. broncobrewer says: Mar 6, 2013 2:05 PM

    Welker wasn’t much of a receiver in Maimi better return man. It was BB who used him right. If he was smart he’d stay their and play with System Brady. If he goes anywhere else he’d be cut before the 2014 season

  34. bullcharger says: Mar 6, 2013 2:05 PM

    swagger52 says:Mar 6, 2013 2:00 PM

    Brady needs Welker, otherwise Brady is easily beatable in the Playoffs. It doesn’t matter the regular season because the AFC Least is so weak. Pay da man!

    —————–

    Or not… Brady won more in the playoffs before Welker. I think Welker’s lack of production in big games has hurt the Patriots even though he has played so well in the regular season.

  35. newtonfb22 says: Mar 6, 2013 2:08 PM

    He already cost us the second super bowl against the Giants…he can walk if he wants to

  36. taxlaw26 says: Mar 6, 2013 2:09 PM

    “What is the danger to waiting another week to have this reference point? ”

    I think, as the article alludes to, he already knows the reference point. What waiting a week does is allow him to publicly disclose that reference point, to either attempt to cajole the Pats into giving more $ or to attempt to assuage any hard feelings with the Boston faithful as he shows them the caboose.

  37. jonnydapat says: Mar 6, 2013 2:13 PM

    I don’t get the being phased out view, if the pats sign wes to a new contract and he’s still a productive player why would’nt they use him. Wes does’nt sound (if this statement is true) to confident in himself. The grass is always greener elsewhere. If the pats have been so bad to you welker by all means go away.

  38. justintuckrule says: Mar 6, 2013 2:23 PM

    He’ll sign with the Pats for $1M less than the best offer he gets out on the market (which won’t be much b/c he’s a system guy). Smart play by Pats. Worst case they lose him and sign Cruz to an offer the Giants can’t match.

  39. blue18hutthutt says: Mar 6, 2013 2:30 PM

    To all the people who think that “Welker needs the Pats / Welker is a product of Brady” get a clue:

    Welker had 111 catches and a Pro Bowl berth in 2008 with high-school QB Matt Cassel throwing to him

    He also had 67 catches with the Dolphins despite being primarily a kick / punt returner catching passes from Joey Harrington and Cleo Lemon

    If Welker was such a no-talent nobody who was a product of the Patriots and Brady, why did the Pats invest a 2nd round pick to trade him from the Dolphins?

  40. cowboyhater says: Mar 6, 2013 2:30 PM

    Welker is over valuing himself in this market. I just don’t see a team dishing out over 6mil for a slot receiver. He will find out soon enough when FA opens up next week. Who’s to say he is just looking for a change of scenery? Sorry Pats… not every player in the nfl wants to go to your organization.

  41. surfinbird1 says: Mar 6, 2013 2:32 PM

    Over the past few days I’ve read alot of posts from what must be the new generation of Pats fans in regards to Welker. A few years ago Wes was the greatest thing since sliced bread,with calls to “pay the man”. Now it’s,let him walk,dump him,swap him,can’t catch in the big ones,etc,etc,etc.
    This kid has played his heart for this team,and takes a pounding every game. Has not caught a few balls out of 100+/year. A true team player.
    We don’t know what the Patriots have offered. I would hope it’s a decent offer knowing what Bill has pissed away on a bunch of turds like Fat Albert,Ocho,and many,many more. Hopefully they are not trying to low ball him. I’d like to see him a Patriot for life. If not,maybe he’ll get a great offer from another team.

  42. andrewproughcfe says: Mar 6, 2013 2:34 PM

    @PFT – “even if every time the sure-handed Welker fails to catch a poorly-thrown ball the media and fans deem it a “drop.””

    ===========================

    It’s important to note – Rocky Bleier caught that same ball for a TD in Super Bowl XII. And Rocky was shorter than Welker.

    It’s not a poorly thrown ball – it’s the correct throw in certain situations. If you can get both hands on it, like Welker did, you should be catching it.

  43. patriotenvy says: Mar 6, 2013 2:39 PM

    I’m sick of hearing about him. It’s been since 2011 – what are they going to do about Wes?? That is not the Patriot way. If they keep him this has to end.

  44. tcmiller30 says: Mar 6, 2013 2:43 PM

    KG Smith

    “Would you get over the “cheating” aspect of every conversation regarding NE.. That was how long ago?”

    —————————————————

    I believe it was 2007 when the got in trouble. 2 years after winning 3 of the previous 4 Superbowls. They’re 0′fer since.

  45. clarencewhorley says: Mar 6, 2013 2:47 PM

    Wes needs to just look at what happened to Deion Branch. Wes is a better player but Deion was more clutch in the playoffs. Deion chased the money, went from 80 catches to 53 and downwards and wasted 4 years. His own family said when he got back to the Pats he never should have left.

    3 more years with Brady and Welker gets into the HOF, if he goes anywhere else and doesn’t get 100 plus cathes he becomes good because of Brady and not HOF. If he goes to another team and gets 100 plus for 3 years he gets in as well.

    How many millions is the jacket worth? Sign for 4 years 32 million 18 Guarenteed.

  46. libraves99 says: Mar 6, 2013 2:48 PM

    Great pick up for the broncos

  47. Max says: Mar 6, 2013 2:52 PM

    Welker should take whatever the pats are offering, he is only a great WR in their system, mediocre in a traditional system.

  48. sparty0n says: Mar 6, 2013 2:53 PM

    Welker sure would look good lining up across from Megatron. To bad the Lions don’t have the cap to pursue him.

  49. onlyspeakstruths says: Mar 6, 2013 2:58 PM

    Move on Welker… the Pat’s are going to do what’s good for the Pat’s…

  50. EJ says: Mar 6, 2013 3:05 PM

    I would enjoy having Welker on the Bills roster. Not only is he a great Slot Receiver, he’s a team player who is not afraid to shoulder some of the blame. I don’t think the Patriots would let Welker go to Buffalo. I’m sure they would raise their offer to him in order to keep him from joining a team in the AFC East. Although, you never know. Maybe they would like him to join an opponent because they know everything about him? I guess we’ll see soon enough.

  51. sschmiggles says: Mar 6, 2013 3:09 PM

    The pass to Welker in the SB was bad. The pass to him in the AFC Championship was dead on the money.

    Seriously, quit hating on Brady dude. It makes you look pathetic.

  52. swagger52 says: Mar 6, 2013 3:17 PM

    swagger52 says:Mar 6, 2013 2:00 PM

    Brady needs Welker, otherwise Brady is easily beatable in the Playoffs. It doesn’t matter the regular season because the AFC Least is so weak. Pay da man!

    —————–
    bullcharger says: Mar 6, 2013 2:05 PM

    Or not… Brady won more in the playoffs before Welker. I think Welker’s lack of production in big games has hurt the Patriots even though he has played so well in the regular season.

    —————–

    Oh really…How did the Patriots do against the Ravens in Foxboro in 2010 Playoffs when they didn’t have Welker? The Patriots have played a much closer game the last two years with Welker in the game. Brady needs Welker a lot more than Welker needs Brady.

  53. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 6, 2013 3:30 PM

    “Why would he want to play with Brady or for BB? They never take the blame for anything, can’t win without cheating ”

    Really ? Can’t win ?

    Since spygate – more regular season wins than any other team, division champ all but one year and 11-5 that year, 2 AFC champion banners.

    That’s an awful lot of not winning lol. And yeah they didn’t win the SB the last 2 times they were in it but so what ? Those seasons were so enjoyable that while it sucked no to win the SB there were so many moments that Pats fans could revel in that sad fans like you of loser teams can only steam and stomp your feet like small petulant children.

    That statement also shows your ignorance of what information the sideline taping gave them, ie; nothing more than an offensive assistant gets every game for every team. Yeah it made it a bit easier to collate that info, but any coach so stupid as to not change their signals around regularly gets what they deserve anyway.

  54. azarkhan says: Mar 6, 2013 3:50 PM

    saint2112 says: Remember this Wes, nobody knew who you were before you played for the Patriots,

    Nobody knew who Tom Brady was before he played with the Patriots. Nobody knew who Jerry Rice was before he played with the 49ers. In other words, your comment means absolutely nothing. Thanks for playing.

  55. tigerlilac says: Mar 6, 2013 4:04 PM

    A guy who never played football and that is not a journalist, at least not a journalist prior to starting a website, is writing derogatory gossip about two star NFL players and the best team of the last 11 years. As Ross Perot would say: That’s just sad.

  56. zackattack006 says: Mar 6, 2013 4:57 PM

    Welcome back to Miami!!!

  57. bartlettruss says: Mar 6, 2013 5:09 PM

    It’s not so much that Brady blames others, it’s that the press never blames Brady. Between the Boston fans, Boston press and the constant disrespect from Belicheat I don’t blame Welker from wanting to look at going somewhere else. In a lot of cities the guy would be respected.

  58. ravenmuscle says: Mar 6, 2013 5:18 PM

    Good point about what former Patriots did after leaving the Pats…..How about what former Ravens did after they left…Adalius Thomas….Edgerton Hartwell….Gary Baxter….Jamal Lewis….Bart Scott….Ben Grubbs…Jarrett Johnson…Corey Redding.
    The Wizard of Oz knows what he’s doing…AND he’s been doing it for a long time.

    After Paul Kruger leaves he will disappear just like the others.

  59. patssteelersorgiants says: Mar 6, 2013 5:50 PM

    Hope the Pats don’t drop the ball on Welker.

  60. bcgreg says: Mar 6, 2013 6:10 PM

    Super Bowl drop? Not a great throw. Woulda been a tough catch, but it hit him in both palms.

    Drop against Ravens? Right between the 8 and the 3. That was a flat out DROP!

  61. azarkhan says: Mar 6, 2013 6:16 PM

    I can’t believe the Patriots are so stupid that they would let Welker leave. On the other hand, I never thought they would be so stupid as to not sign Welker to a long term contract last year.

  62. tjacks7 says: Mar 6, 2013 6:37 PM

    Take less to win more what? It seems like dinosaurs roamed the earth the last time the Pats won the big game.

  63. wludford says: Mar 6, 2013 6:45 PM

    Patriots are waiting to see if they can land Percy Harvin from the Vikings- who they’d take any day over Welker.

    So, they’re taking it slow with Welker- knowing he’s not going to sign with another team until he knows the Patriots are not interested.

    If the rumor is true that the Vikings are interested in Wallace, that’s a pretty good sign Harvin may be available- but he won’t come cheap.

  64. patssteelersorgiants says: Mar 6, 2013 9:47 PM

    Mike Vick unable to see Welker “ovah da mountains” would be worth a laugh.

  65. medialovesthecowboys says: Mar 6, 2013 11:26 PM

    I can’t wait for this loser to sign with someone else, so his mediocrity is finally revealed.

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