No one is really sure what’s going on between Wes Welker and the New England Patriots, but it seems like reports of the wide receiver close to signing a new contract weren’t that accurate, and those saying he’ll wait for free agency to being were a little bit more closer to the mark, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the latter actually happens.
According to ESPN Insider, Wes Welker does not plan to re-sign with New England before first testing the free-agent market. That doesn’t mean that he couldn’t wind up back in New England. A lot of people around the league believe ultimately he will, but he first wants to see what his value will be on the street. And if there’s a suitor out there who wants to pay for Wes Welker, he’s willing to move on from New England at this point in time.
So what’s out there for Welker? Quite a lot. Welker fits in a lot of systems, and even though Tom Brady and Bill Belichick got the most out of him, a growing and exciting offensive scheme like the one they have at Tampa Bay, hoping to become a more dominant force in the NFC South next season thanks to Josh Freeman, Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams could really benefit from the addition of Welker.
Jackson led the NFL with 19.2 yards per reception, and had a very good no.2 in Williams, with a 7.8 yards per attempt last season. However, beyond these two, the rest of the Bucs contributed for 1,107 yards on 174 targets, a pretty disappointing 6.4 yards per attempt. Take 100 to 125 of those targets to Wes Welker, who has caught more than 111 passes in five of his six New England seasons, and you’ll probably be getting an offense that’s ranked among the top 5 in the NFL. The Bucs have plenty of cap space to use on Welker, although improving the secondary is on their mind as well.
It’s back to Welker at this point, who probably knows he can get more money if he leaves the Patriots, but there’s a good chance it won’t be for a contender, and that dilemma, of going for another Super Bowl run (Welker was part of two that faltered in the last game) or going for more money on what might be his final big contract of his career, is probably something that’s going to keep Welker up at nights for the next couple of weeks.