Monday, February 11, 2013
Welker, Lloyd both gone?
By Tim Kavanagh
Since the New England Patriots elected last offseason to franchise tag WR Wes Welker -- but not replace that one-year tender with a multi-year deal -- we've known that they were just pushing their long-term decision on him off by one year. The time for that decision is upon us in the near future, as the Pats will need to figure out whether he's worthy of another franchise tag or a new contract, or whether they'll let him hit the free agent market.
As it turns out, Welker may not be the only 2012 starting WR from New England set to explore free agency. In the opinion of Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe, the Pats should decline to pick up Brandon Lloyd's $3 million option in the coming days, which would in turn make him a free agent as well. Instead, the scribe argues, the Patriots should look to target a player to fill that X-receiver role either in free agency or the draft, using the money saved on not re-signing Welker (and paying Lloyd) for that purpose. A player like Mike Wallace would seem to match this description, so it'll be interesting to see how strongly the Pats target him.
That brings us to Julian Edelman, who finished the year on IR after another encouraging campaign. Edelman is also without a contract for 2013, and the Pats could elect to bring him back, or try and find someone to fill the Welker role from outside the organization. Bedard suggests Danny Amendola, and this is a spot where a draftee could slot in as well.