Wes Welker has been a fantasy constant since 2007, the Patriots are surely trying to send the receiver who has the most catches in the league since then a message.
Stop for a second and think about that. Welker has caught more passes than any receiver in the NFL since 2007, he is healthy and he is taking a back seat to Julian Edleman. It doesn't compute to Pats fans or Welker owners. To Welker's credit, he did enter the game Sunday against Arizona and led the team in receiving with 95 yards on five catches.
"I don't know," Welker said in an interview with Boston Globe reporter Karen Guregian. "I just…whatever it is, is what it is. I just go out there and play my game. That's all I can do. I just go out there and play. When my number is called, I try to make plays. That's all I can do. It is what it is. I don't know?"
Here's the conundrum for Welker owners. If Wes is being punished, who knows when he gets out of Bill Belichick's dog house. Do you sell now, or do you hang on. History tells you that the Patriots are not afraid to move on when a productive player starts barking about their contract as Welker did in the off-season. Randy Moss was sent to Minnesota in 2010 and the Pats boldly moved on without him.
In the Pats week one win over Tennessee, Welker was targeted only five times catching three passes for a mere 14 yards. It appeared things were headed in the same direction in week two against the Cardinals until tight end Aaron Hernandez got injured in the second quarter. After that, Welker led the team in receiving almost by default.
In a early season of surprises, this is the one that doesn't make any sense from a fantasy perspective. As an owner, you can live with a guy who is on the down side of his career and falls completely off. Welker is not that guy. He is healthy and has the ability to be productive each week.
How the Pats handle Welker moving forward is anyone's guess.