After putting up yet another 100 catch season for the New England Patriots, one would think that Welker is happy with the team and that the franchise is prepared to make him a long-term offer that he can’t refuse. But the reality of the situation remains that Welker is unsigned, and reportedly isn’t all that happy with the team for the way he was treated earlier this season.
If you remember, for some odd reason during the start of the 2012 NFL season, Welker was seemingly cut out of the offensive game plan. Specifically in the season opener when Welker was only targeted 5 times and only caught 3. It wasn’t until tight end Aaron Hernandez was injured, that Welker began to receive some of the passes he was used to getting. For a guy who had led the NFL in receptions for multiple years, this apparently didn’t sit well. Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports elaborates:
“What’s important to consider is Welker’s somewhat mild disdain for the Patriots right now, according to a source close to the player. Welker apparently is a little miffed at how he was treated in last year’s opener, when offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had him targeted for a season-low five pass attempts that resulted in a season-low three receptions.”
“That bit of tweaking stuck in Welker’s craw all season. So did the notion that if tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski hadn’t both gotten hurt at different times, there’s a strong belief that Welker would have been limited to far fewer than the 118 receptions he finished with last season. In short, there’s a little paranoia in the Welker camp these days about his role with the Pats.”
We’ll have to see if this ultimately plays a role in Welker re-signing with the Patriots.
In my opinion I believe he wants to be in New England, but the logic behind his apparent disdain does make sense.