If Welker Doesn’t Re-sign: Three Possible Replacements

Wes Welker Patriots Jets

What if Welker doesn’t get re-signed?

NEPD Staff Writer: Tony Santorsa

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.

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.

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8 Responses to “If Welker Doesn’t Re-sign: Three Possible Replacements”

  1. Nuf Ced says:

    Not to be an arse but these 3 are the most obvious main stream media names associated with the next slot WR in NE.

    Amandola has been talked about since he attended some family event in Maine last year, Harvin for at least a month and Austin since the end of the Bowl Season.

    I doubt any of these scenarios happen; BB is always under the radar (last years courting of Lloyd excluded)

    Here is a name no one is talking about Ace Sanders – great Outback Bowl, extremely quick out of cuts tough and can return kicks. Austin’s combine put in out of reach of the Pats.

    If Welker doesn’t sign I think we may possibly see Trip Queens – Hernandez in the slot with a Ballard and Gronk playing in the double TE. I would love to see the Pats get Chris Gragg as another slot like TE .

    Take the Welker money to get Wallace or Bowe and play Trip Queens

  2. Kjb008 says:

    Last year the patriots drafted Jeremy Ebert from northwestern late in the draft and managed to get him back on the practice squad from the eagles. He has a somewhat similar skill set to Danny Amendola at a much smaller price but less proven. I’m thinking give this kid a shot in the slot and see if Justin hunter or Da’rick Rodgers falls to the pats in the 2nd round that way you save the cap space and develop a strong young receiving core without using the first round pick.

    • ctpatsfan77 says:

      You’re actually conflating two different players: they cut Ebert, and nobody resigned him.

      The guy who ended up with the Iggles (and ended the season with them) was Greg Salas.

  3. J H TARBORO says:

    To Tony Santorsa, a very good article. I’ve been Tavon Austin’s loudest advocate. I will start first by saying NO to Harvin and Amendola. Why? Tavon is being delt a diservice by just calling him a slot receiver, he does everything. Although he would be in the slot for us. He is far more explosive than Amendola and i wouldn’t trade for Harvin. Tavon could take the top off of a defense at 5’9 Welker can’t do that and if you think of mismatches who is going cover him in space a LB? a safety? some teams have a hard time with Welker and he much quicker. An absolute weapon for Brady and our offense. Remember we are trying to replace the SLOT with a playmaker that open up opportunities for our TEs and other receivers.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      Free agent WRs values : NYG Rames Barden MIN. Jerome Simpson CLE. Josh Cribbs just to name few outside receivers but i think we should build through the draft.

  4. Charles Lightfoot says:

    Amendola is an injury waiting to happen, Harvin won’t be traded and Austin is going to be drafted before the Pats have a chance to pick. Welker’s ability to absorb big hits and only miss a play is something I don’t think the Patriots are going to be able to find if FA or the draft. Having Aaron Hernandez slide into the slot role is going to create matchup issues for any team. Have Demps in the backfield with Ballad and Gronk on the line. Sure Brady will miss having his go to, but the mighty dollar speaks and the Pats need isn’t on the offensive side of the ball.

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