My story: Examining the cautionary tales and Patriots WR Wes Welker’s future

Patriots WR Wes Welker is looking for some long-term security/AP

The debate over Patriots WR Wes Welker’s future is raging. He signed his franchise tender, but then spoke out about how poorly the negotiations are going. Few don’t believe Welker is worth big money for his production now.

But it’s when you get a little bit into the future when it gets dicey. Welker is, after all, 31 years old, and he has taken a lot of hits. He plays fearlessly over the middle, which may be why he’s been beat up. In discussing a possible extension, it may be instructive to look into the past.

That’s what I did, examining the last two slot receivers who have starred for coach Bill BelichickWayne Chrebet and Troy Brown. Are either Welker? Do they have Welker’s body? No.

But their fate may explain why the Patriots have balked at guaranteeing long-term money to Welker. At age 31, Chrebet never had a better season than 31 catches for 397 yards. At age 32, Brown never had a better season than 40 catches for 472 yards. Both solid campaigns. But if Welker put up those numbers and earned $10 million per year, it would be a problem.

Check out my story on NFL.com examining Welker’ future through a historical lens. 

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