NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

March 16, 2013

The end game for Welker and Pats

“So,” I asked Big Freddy after we had about done with what we agreed could only be a loss to the Patriots by Welker signing with the Denver Broncos, “now what?”

“Changes have consequences,” Freddy said.

“Did you make that up yourself or read it in a book somewhere?” I asked.

“The thing is you never can be sure what they’re going to be even if you’re part of the change,” Freddy said.

“You deal with reality. Welker managed to keep going despite taking a lot of hits you’d think he couldn’t get up from. But he does, and maybe a couple of plays later, he makes a catch you’d think no one could, and he’s off 30 or 40 yards for another touchdown.

“It looks like he’s got rubber joints. He’s been doing that for a long time. Looks like he can do it forever. He can’t, so the Pats figure it’s time for a change — wish him well — no hard feelings either side, and off he goes.”

“But he and Brady are so close, it has to be tough on both of them,” I said.

“They’re pros,” Freddy said. “Brady needs targets, and Welker has been one of the best he’s had. He can’t be happy about this, but business is business.

“Welker’s no fool. He’s already got a Hall of Fame election in the bag, and he knows he’s got just enough left for the end games of his career.

“The Broncos beckon, and they have both two solid-goal football greats where it counts. Elway is their executive vice president, and Peyton Manning throwing the ball. He likes what he sees going on there, takes what he’s earned by way of success during his time with Brady, and the Patriots make it easy for him to go by standing pat on what they’re paying him.”

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