It makes business sense to trade Welker now (if CBA is taken care of)
posted at 2/23/2011 5:26 PM EST
I know people will jump all over me because of this, but with how NE does business I think it would make sense to trade Welker before 2011 for the following reasons:
a) Welker and Branch are in the last year of their deals. You can either wait to make the transition with the WR corps or not, but the pats are usually proactive (see R Seymour). Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't, but selling when their players have the highest value is something they do. Lets see what Edelman can do in a full season.
b) There is no way Welker is still a 'very good' player three years from now. The wear and tear from the physical brand of football he plays will render him useless. His career will eventually hit a Wayne Chrebet/Troy Brown type wall. Getting a 2nd round for him now would bring value to the team 4 yrs from now, when Welker will probably be a step or two slower (or out of the league).
c) You have a somewhat similar player in Edelman. Julian can't touch Welker's intangibles, but right now he's a better athlete. He's faster, bigger, and is better in the open field. Welker is still very quick and can get open in a 0-10 yd range, but he's not out running any CB. Edelman can.
d) It's a small sample size, but in the last two playoff losses Edelman was among the few players who played well and played hard. I get the impression that he would perform in big spots, which has been an issue for the pats.
e) The economics of it work out. If Edelman can replace 80% of welkers catches then you're saving money and getting similar production.
f) Aaron hernandez can handle more of the underneath role if Edelman falters. There's talent on the O that provides a factor of safety.