Despite recent news regarding Tom Brady’s contract extension and how there are ongoing negations between the New England Patriots and Wes Welker—I’m still not buying the idea that Welker will be a Patriot in 2013.
In all honesty, there has been no concrete news indicating that Brady’s contract extension has anything to do with Welker—however, you can still speculate that they are related to each other.
If the Patriots do choose to part ways with Welker, then there’s going to be a lot of production that will have to be accounted for as Welker 100-plus receptions in five of his six seasons in New England.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some possible replacements for Welker.
Via Trade: Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings
With news breaking a few weeks ago regarding that the Vikings will actively look to trade Percy Harvin, I threw out the notion that Harvin could very well be Foxboro bound:
There’s no secret that [Bill] Belchick loves versatility and coughing up a third round draft pick for [Percy] Harvin and his one-year, $2.9 million contract would be quite the deal for New England.
As I stated from my previous article, I do believe that all that New England would have to give in-return for Harvin would be a third round draft pick. With Harvin only having one year remaining on his contract that’s worth just $2.9 million, it would be a near-steal for the Patriots.
Harvin would be playing in a contract year, which should max his potential—not to mention playing with one of the league’s elite passers in Tom Brady.
In my opinion, the Patriots would not only be getting an upgrade over Welker for one season, but they might very well find their slot receiver of the future as Harvin is turning just 25-years-old this May.
However, Vikings GM Rick Spielman put somewhat of a damper on the situation as he publicly came out saying that he does not plan on trading the star wide receiver.
Spielman repeating his pat statement:”We have no intent” to trade Percy Harvin. Translate as you will. #Vikings
— Kevin Seifert (@espn_nfcnblog) February 21, 2013
Despite Spielman’s statement, we have seen this happen in the past with Harvin as rumors regarding a possible trade have been ongoing for the past few seasons. If you ask me, enough is enough and if the right offer is placed on the table for Spielman and the Vikings, then they’ll have no decision but to accept.
Via Free Agency: Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams
If Bill Belichick wants to find a replacement via free agency, then why not take a look at Danny Amendola of the St. Louis Rams.
This past Friday St. Louis Rams GM Les Snead spoke at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and confirmed that the Rams will not use their franchise tag on Amendola.
Amendola is 27-years-old but does have some durability issues as he’s played just one full regular season throughout his four-year career.
In that full season back in 2010, Amendola recorded 85 receptions for 689 yards while scoring three touchdowns.
With a questionable injury-history, Amendola would likely come at a cheap-price and should be a solid replacement for Welker.
Via NFL Draft: Tavon Austin, West Virginia
If anyone of you follow me on Twitter, then you’re well aware that I am a huge fan of Tavon Austin.
I don’t necessarily think he’s the best player in this year’s draft, despite what he said at the combine this past Friday, but I do believe that he’s the top play-maker.
Austin enters the draft standing in at 5’9″ and weighing 175 lbs. after a very successful collegiate career with the Mountaineers. Austin was very versatile while with WVU as he often lined up in the slot but also lined up in the backfield and was a lethal return man on kickoffs and punts.
Austin proved that his blazing speed is the real deal as he clocked in at an official 4.34 in the 40-yard dash at the combine this past weekend.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Austin has all the talent and skills to be an elite wide receiver and with the Patriots sitting at No. 29 overall they could be in the perfect position to snag the West Virginia product.