The NFL is a business, and players come and go all the time. Sometimes it is a move that is widely unpopular, such as Wes Welker leaving the Patriots to sign with AFC rival Denver. Welker went from one great quarterback to another, and I’m sure Peyton Manning had a huge smile on his face when he got word that the team added one of the best receivers in the game today. Meanwhile, in New England, there were anything but smiles.
Over the past few days, there has been a lot of “he said this” and “he said that” coming from Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, and Welker’s agents, David Dunn and Brian Murphy of Athlete’s First. Kraft has said that Welker was the team’s first choice, and that Welker’s agents came in with an offer that was too high for the Patriots, as they had to spread the money out to fill other needs.
Welker’s agents countered, saying only one “take it or leave it” offer was made since July of 2012! The agents also contend that once Welker received his 2 year, 12 million dollar deal from the Broncos, he gave the Patriots a chance to match it, which apparently the Patriots declined (which is surprising since they gave Danny Amendola 31 million, with 10 million guaranteed, after Welker left).
There is more back and forth between Welker’s agents and Mr. Kraft, but I’m not going to waste any more time talking about what someone might have said. If you want to get more in depth, check out ESPN as this story has been news for days. I am directing this “shut up” to Mr. Kraft only though, because as wrong as Welker’s agents may have seemed, it is their job to get their client the best offer. Agents can be annoying, sneaky and fake but they have to use any means necessary to get the best contract for their client.
Robert Kraft should have just said ” I am disappointed in Wes’ decision to leave, but he was a great player and did a lot of great things for this organization” etc. But Mr. Kraft keeps on going, trying to defend the teams decision not to resign Welker. Mr. Kraft, you had since last summer to lock up one of your best receivers and Tom Brady’s favorite target! I understand there is a lot of money tied up into Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, but Welker deserved better from the Patriots. He didn’t complain when the team slapped the franchise tag on him last year, and he went out and played his hardest, hauling in 118 receptions and averaging 11.5 yards per catch!
Look, the NFL is a business. The salary cap makes it impossible for teams to stay together. The Baltimore Ravens are getting absolutely ravaged by free agent losses, trades made due to the salary cap and the retirements of great players like Ray Lewis. Have we heard the Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti complain? Have we heard any other owner have to defend his decision to let a player go days after the move happened? And this move didn’t happen just yesterday, it happened over 5 days ago, enough! Move on Kraft! You still have the best quarterback in the game. You still have one of the best coaches in the game. You signed Danny Amendola to replace Welker, which was a great move. Have a Patriot security guard suit up and play receiver, I’m sure Brady would make him great!
Welker was a great Patriot, but he left, it is time to move on Mr. Kraft. Players come and go, and while losing Welker is going to hurt, it is not the end for your dominant franchise. There is no need to keep going back and forth with Welker’s agents in the media spotlight. I say this with a lot of respect, because he is a great owner, but Robert Kraft….just shut up!
Welker is a Bronco now, time to move on everyone!