Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/21/13
The Patriots have some tough decisions to make now that their season is over. Two key players are free agents after this season, and each played a major role in the AFC Championship Game. If you had to choose, which player would you pick for the Patriots to re-sign, Aqib Talib or Wes Welker? Talib was only on the team for half a season, but he made a major impact in New England’s secondary. He has the ability to shut down one side of the field, and the more he’s able to acclimate himself to Bill Belichick‘s defense, the better he could be. The trade for Talib paid immediate dividends for the Patriots, as they started allowing less yards, and most importantly, less big plays. It was easy to see Talib’s impact when the cornerback went out on Sunday night with a thigh injury. The Patriots’ defense immediately started giving up more yards to Joe Flacco, and while Talib was doing a great job shutting down Anquan Boldin early in the game, the big Baltimore wide receiver went off for two touchdowns when Talib had to come out. Of course, Welker also plays a major role on the Patriots. The slot receiver caught eight passes for 117 yards and a touchdown on Sunday night. After a key drop on Sunday night and a key drop in the Patriots’ postseason loss last season, some fans have been calling for the Patriots to let Welker walk for more of a deep threat wide receiver. The Patriots would still have to replace Welker, though, and needless to say, it’s difficult to replace the best slot receiver in the league. The Patriots could have an in-house option in Julian Edelman, but the fourth-year player has never fully emerged as an offensive weapon, though he has shown glimpses. Early in the season it looked like New England may be ready to phase Welker out, but injuries to Aaron Hernandez and Edelman forced Welker back into a major role, and the Patriots’ had one of the best offenses in the NFL yet again. So who would you pick if you could only take one? Would you want the Patriots to sign Welker and have to go out and draft another cornerback to replace Talib? Or would you want the Patriots to sign Talib and move forward with Edelman or another slot receiver? Take Our Poll

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Cavs, Pacers talking three-team George trade

In appreciation of Ichiro, the oldest man to play center field since at least 1900

WATCH: Adam Rosales sprints to fastest home run trot record

Report: Pacers not interested in acquiring Kevin Love

Vikings say they encouraged Floyd to drink kombucha tea

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jason Williams injured in first BIG3 game

Report: Mavs leaning toward two-year deal for Nowitzki

Spieth holes bunker shot to win Travelers Championship playoff

Tebow promoted by Mets to A-Advanced St. Lucia

Cam Newton reveals the one thing his life is missing

George denies he is already moving out of Indiana home

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker