The unthinkable just may happen for the New England Patriots. Tom Brady's most reliable receiver may possibly be catching the ball from another quarterback. According to Yahoo Sports! on Tuesday, receiver Wes Welker has decided to test the free agent market before signing with the Patriots.
Negotiations have been difficult between Welker and the team and after the Patriots decided not to franchise the reliable receiver on Monday, they opened up the possibility of Welker opening himself up to be pursued by other teams.
With free agency starting on March 12, there may be a few teams interested in Welker, but it will be hard for Patriot fans to imagine life without the 118 receptions, six touchdowns and 1,354 yards of production from Welker in 2012 in a year where the team reached the AFC Championship against the Baltimore Ravens.
Sure, the Patriots have offensive weapons and Brady is capable of turning any receiver into a productivity machine, but what would be missing without Welker on the field is trust. Welker knows how to get open and when his quarterback is under pressure he knows how to make quick adjustments. What will be missing is the toughness Welker displays and the aggressiveness he processes as a receiver who spends most of his time in the middle of the field.
Wes Welker, who may have a "mild disdain" for the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick, may be risking a legacy if he does decide to sign elsewhere. Is it really about more money for Welker? or is it more about teaching the New England Patriots a lesson about value. The answer of course will lay on the dotted lines of whichever contract Welker decides to sign.