The New England Patriots are the Teflon organization of the NFL. They seemingly can do no wrong. With the exception of Spygate, in which it can be argued they got off light, everything they do gets described as being part of the mystique of “The Patriot Way”.
In the past, if the Patriots pass on a free agent “troublemaker” like a Terrell Owens… that’s The Patriot Way. If they sign and rehab a “troublemaker” like Randy Moss and it works out, that’s The Patriot Way. If it doesn’t work out and they cut him (Albert Hanesworth & Chad Johnson) that’s The Patriot Way…
Bill Belichick is such a genius that even when things don’t work out, there is still a plan that we Neanderthals just don’t understand. Never mind that the Patriots’ best “plan” is to play in the crappy AFC East with their ticket is all but stamped to go to the playoffs every year.
Prior to the 2012 season Wes Welker wanted a three-year contract for 22 million. He earned 9.5 mill for 2012 after receiving the franchise tag. If you add the two-year 12 million the Denver Broncos just gave him to that, it equals 21.5 million for three seasons. A difference of 500 thousand.
Considering that even the high and mighty Patriots couldn’t look you in the eyes and say Welker didn’t outperform his last contract, that is a more than fair evaluation. Is anybody going to say Welker, who had 118 catches last season and led the league in receptions three of the last six seasons isn’t worth that?
If for no other reason than your star quarterback, Tom Brady, who just renegotiated his contract with you to, you know, keep players like Welker, the Patriots should have improved on their last 2 year 10 million offer. Brady and Welker have great chemistry on and off the field that is worth keeping together, especially given the injury history of star tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
Instead, the Patriots gave a longer contract for similar dollars to Danny Amendola . Another injury prone player. But he has Welker potential? I didn’t know the Patriots were in the potential business? I thought they play to win Superbowls every year. Especially when the dollars are that close. Are you kidding me?
And what about the Patriot fans? Fans can mostly understand letting a player go if the finances are out of whack or the player is making unreasonable demands. But two years and 12 million? Really?
One day the NY Yankees dynasty of the nineties will celebrate lifers and players who retired in their uniform, and bleeding their colors. Players like Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Paul O’Neill and many more… The Patriots? Where have you gone Adam Vineteri, Richard Seymour, Lawyer Malloy, Wes Welker and more… Disloyalty under the guise of running a business is also “The Patriot Way”.
I know I’m not nearly as smart as Belichick or Patriot owner Robert Kraft, but you guys out thought yourselves on this one. You could have had a future hall of famer, fan favorite and still highly productive player and you don’t. Because of The Patriot Way.
Robert Kraft has a reputation for being a great guy. He might be, but there is no getting around the fact that he looks to exploit many of his players for as much and as long as he can. And when it is time to offer them fair value? Not over-payment, but fair value, he discards them without much regard to the loyalty and effort of the player, or the attachment of the fan to the player. Given the contract that Welker signed, and the speed with which they signed his replacement, I find Kraft’s comments about wanting Welker to be a Patriot for life disingenuous.
I guess if you’re a Patriot fan you root for Tom Brady and a bunch of clothes…