Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 3/13/13
Wes Welker and the New England Patriots are involved in a classic game of chicken, and it may not end well for Tom Brady. When Brady restructured his contract a few weeks ago to give the team more cap space, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that bringing back Welker would be New England’s top priority. On the second day of free agency, that doesn’t appear to be the case. According to the NFL Network’s Albert Breer, the Patriots’ offer to Welker came in “substantially lower” than his camp expected and he is strongly considering leaving New England. That report coincides with a similar one from Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald on Monday morning, who reported that the two sides are nowhere close to coming to a deal and have “moved on.” Could this all be just a smokescreen? Is it possible that Welker is going to find there are not many teams who value him as much as the Patriots do and his market is not all that large? Both are possibilities, but none of this sounds like good news for Patriots fans or Brady. The important thing to note is that all of this is merely speculation. Things can change in a hurry during the free agency period, and no one knows what Welker is thinking or if he has had any dialogue with the Patriots. What makes the situation so alarming is that New England really doesn’t have a replacement for Welker. They are reportedly interested in Josh Cribbs, but he is more of a special-teamer and hardly the same caliber player Welker is. Danny Amendola is also an option, but his health has been a major concern. Aside from Welker’s ACL injury that barely caused him to miss any time, he has been one of the most durable players in the league. Common sense would tell you that the Patriots need Welker back. Brady will turn 36 before the 2013 season begins, and it’s not easy for a quarterback who is this far into his career to establish chemistry with a new corps of receivers. Considering Welker has caught more than 100 balls for five straight seasons, it would be almost impossible for any player to come in and match his production. From a legacy standpoint, Welker is probably best off remaining in New England. He has become a tremendous player, but much of his success stems from the fact that he and Brady are the perfect combination — both mentally and physically. That being said, the Patriots have been known to alienate their veteran free agents with an unwillingness to pay them what they feel they deserve. Very few would be surprised if that winds up being the case with Welker. Related posts: Tom Brady agrees to extension with Patriots, gives team salary cap flexibility Wes Welker hints that the Patriots should give him a new contract for his birthday Bill O’Brien says drop not Wes Welker’s fault, didn’t cost Patriots Super Bowl

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Study shows potential breakthrough in diagnosing CTE in living humans

Michael Bennett wants a sit-down with Donald Trump

Report: Dwyane Wade nearing deal with Cavaliers

John Mara ‘very unhappy’ with Odell Beckham’s TD celebration

Four NCAA BB assistants arrested in alleged fraud scheme involving Adidas

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brent Musburger not impressed with Tony Romo as broadcaster

LeBron, Steph featured on SI ‘A Nation Divided, Sports United’ cover

If you don't appreciate Aaron Judge yet, there's still time

Tom Brady on Aaron Hernandez: ‘I don’t think about him very often’

Jim Harbaugh wants Big Ten to address ‘unsportsmanlike’ opposing locker rooms

Yasiel Puig to play Tuesday after being benched two games

The 'Nonexistent MLB Rookie of the Year races' quiz

MLB teams with the most at stake this postseason

After Carmelo Anthony trade, the Western Conference looks completely different

Veterans who need to prove they still belong in the NHL

The 'Celebrations are afoot in Philadelphia' quiz

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

MLB teams with the most at stake this postseason

The 'Nonexistent MLB Rookie of the Year races' quiz

After Melo trade, the West looks completely different

The 'Celebrations are afoot in Philadelphia' quiz

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

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