Will this duo be back together?
Today at 4 p.m. marks the official start to the NFL Free Agent signing period. There are some big names that many experts expect to change teams such as former Ram Steven Jackson, former Steeler Mike Wallace, and possibly (former) Patriot Wes Welker.
I don't truly care where Jackson and Wallace end up because it neither one has any effect on the Patriots. Jackson is a running back that will turn 30 in July, which is a bad omen for any running back. Wallace and his agent have reportedly told teams that he expects to make somewhere close to $13 million per year, a number that is absurd.
Welker is the only name that I care about from those three. The 5'9" slot receiver deserves to get a big contract because he is so productive and looks as though he would be able to continue at his current level for at least the next three seasons. How big of a contract he will command is the only question. Welker should be paid somewhere close to $10 million per season, and for three years, I would guess the Patriots would be fine with that or at least they should be. It's always hard to tell what Bill Belichick is thinking. We all now know that Patriots owner Robert Kraft wants Welker to be a "Patriot for life" but will the two sides come together?
How do I see this playing out? In my fan's heart, Welker will get a decent payday and return to the Patriots. In my cynical, everyone likes more money brain, Welker could be tempted to take the big money from another team such as Denver or Indianapolis. Think about that. Two AFC rivals, one with Peyton Manning and the other with Andrew Luck, both vying for Welker. The Patriots have trouble covering most players, but they will get torched by Welker and either quarterback. Welker and the Patriots SHOULD come to their senses and work out a deal.
If a deal with the Patriots does not work then the Patriots, not Welker, will feel that wrath of the fan base and media. The good thing is that unlike the Red Sox, the Patriots will not care and will not make a move to "save face." I implore them to sign a cheaper option and throw some money at the defense. Sign Aqib Talib and one of the safeties that is out there. Then, try to get Sebastian Vollmer under contract. Luckily, the cornerback and tackle markets have been flooded with players which will hopefully keep the costs down, helping the Patriots afford both of them.
All in all, Welker is a great Patriot that deserves to get paid well wherever he plays and for my (nonexistent) money it should be the Patriots that sign his checks.