All of that said, Welker probably has more to offer than any WR currently on the roster besides Edelman, Amendola or LaFell. Tyms might be in the conversation, too. Maybe. But Welker would seem to be nice insurance for one of the other guys going down. And I'm a sucker for a returning hero. Make no mistake, I am not deluded into thinking Welker is walking through that door. It just wouldn't suck if he did.
But both Welker and the Patriots have yet to reach an agreement. It makes sense for both sides to wait, though Welker has still looked like the big winner in the race for the upper hand during the 2012 offseason negotiations.
The Patriots have "won," avoiding paying Welker for past performance, but in the process they might find that they've made future negotiations more contentious and costly.
If the Patriots cannot re-sign Welker, it will certainly be a major loss for their offense, but they should be able to find another player, potentially even drawing from in house with Julian Edelman, to become successful in a similar role in their system. Hernandez, on the other hand, has a unique role that makes him a very difficult player to emulate.
Hernandez is now signed through 2018, while Gronkowski is signed through 2019. Considering Gronkowski is also only 23, that means the Patriots should have the NFL’s best tight end duo, assuming both players remain healthy and productive, for at least seven more seasons, a time through which neither player will have reached the age of 30.
TheoShmeo said:I have a hard time seeing Belichick wanting Welker back. There seemed to be a rift between him and Bill. I know, Spikes is back so anything can happen.
Amendola also had another 600 yards in kick returns. Assuming there's a "decent" chance that Welker is better (and I think the chances are considerably less than decent), there is a much higher chance that he isn't better.There's a decent chance Welker is better, even at 34, than Danny Amendola, who lest we forget had just 200 receiving yards in 16 regular-season games last year.
Kind of. He was better. He made some nice YAC plays. His playoff stats are inflated by his catch on the flea flicker, which is a play 99% of NFL WR would make.slamminsammya said:Amendola was great in the postseason.
Yeah, there's a good argument that even if Welker is still a better receiver at this point of their careers, Amendola is more useful because of his special teams contributions. Then again, maybe they'll have someone else return kicks this year. The last time the Pats had the same primary kick returner in back-to-back years was Ellis Hobbs in 2007 and '08.joe dokes said:Amendola also had another 600 yards in kick returns. Assuming there's a "decent" chance that Welker is better (and I think the chances are considerably less than decent), there is a much higher chance that he isn't better.
You really don't like Amendola, which is fine, he doesn't seem to be anything special, but you're overstating things. Amendola was only targeted 42 times while being on the field for 456 snaps (40.3% of NE's offensive snaps). So he was targeted 9.2% of the plays he was on the field for, and caught 27 balls.Super Nomario said:There's a decent chance Welker is better, even at 34, than Danny Amendola, who lest we forget had just 200 receiving yards in 16 regular-season games last year. I think the ideal fit for Welker would be the Austin Collie shadow roster role from a few years ago (formerly the Deion Branch role) - a veteran who can step in right away as a third WR if needed and who they can cut if / when he gets hurt.
That still makes Welker better - catching 77% of passes his way (versus 64% for Amendola), for 9.5 yards per catch (versus 7.4 for Amendola) for an average of 7.25 yards per target (4.76 for Amendola) and 0.62 yards per route run (0.44 for Amendola).Toe Nash said:You really don't like Amendola, which is fine, he doesn't seem to be anything special, but you're overstating things. Amendola was only targeted 42 times while being on the field for 456 snaps (40.3% of NE's offensive snaps). So he was targeted 9.2% of the plays he was on the field for, and caught 27 balls.
Welker was on the field for 743 snaps or 65.9% of Denver's offensive snaps, and was targeted 64 times (8.6%). He caught 49 balls.
Both were the 3rd option on their teams for most of the season, but NE went with just 2 WRs a lot more often than Den, who usually had 3 WRs on the field.
I think by usage they were comparable last year and given Welker's age and injuries he's a really good bet to completely crater.
Amendola was open on those plays because of the illegal picks. I think they're pretty telling anyway; he can execute rub routes and other combinations effectively enough so McDaniels can scheme him open, but he can't beat one-on-one man coverage. A lot of his playoff catches were of this ilk, too - a rub route or high / low combination where he got open due to scheme, not skill.soxfan121 said:Amendola should be provisionally credited with three more catches; LaFell's inability to set a pick legally outright killed three plays and who knows what the plan was, but it changed after Kansas City anyway and Amendola became extraneous for most of the year.
It'll be interesting to see how closely pick plays are called in the early season and whether Amendola & LaFell are again involved; skill sets are good for it, but it'll depend on the refs.