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March 16, 2013

Belichick and Welker needed to split

I am in awe of Wes Welker, particularly when I watch an NFL game at field level, where the speed, sheer power and brutality in indescribable.

And guess who was always somewhere in the middle of that hell hole? Wes Welker.

Welker would make a catch. He would get hit, sometimes viciously in the head area. And he would get up.

Every single time.

I don’t want to discount his production, about 110 catches a year. But its his ability to play every down of every game, despite being 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, that is most appreciated.

That’s what the Patriots and Bill Belichick have going against them. Everybody loves Wes.

Sure, the few memorable drops seem to always find their way into the “Welker Debate,” but he has overcome those drops with toughness.

That being said, Welker’s biggest drop may have happened this past week.

I’m not saying Belichick was “Mr. Wonderful” during the negotiations. But everybody knows Belichick’s stance. He doesn’t get emotional and he doesn’t overpay.

Why doesn’t he overpay? Because he doesn’t mortgage the future to win now. Players are paid what he’s guessing their production and importance will be going forward.

Welker and his agent gambled that there would be $20 million in guaranteed money out there, or at least a handful of teams willing to pony up $8 million to $9 million over the short term. Quite frankly, myself and a few million New Englanders, sided with Welker and his agent.

Belichick, though, didn’t see it. Slot receivers, even the Hall of Famers, just don’t get the money the home-run hitters get.

Guess who was right?

The most surprising aspect of Welker leaving was the chump change he received, $12 million over two years. That’s less than what iffy Celtics forward Brandon Bass is making over the next two seasons.

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