Former star believes Welker is ‘heart and soul’ of the team.As free agency draws near, rumours surrounding New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker continue to build.
Former left tackle Matt Light, who went to the Superbowl five times with the team, believes that the Patriots should be ready to pay what the 5ft 9in receiver demands.
“If you take the heart and soul away from a team, it’s not like open-heart surgery these days,” Light is quoted as saying on NFL.com.
“He’s a guy that you have (to) try to find a way to make him right. I think he made really good money last year, and I think you can’t argue that fact.
“The way the league is set up right now, they’re going to be able to push it to the nth degree, but at some point you have to say just do the right thing for the guy, he’s been there long enough.”
Welker has been a terrific servant to the team, becoming Tom Brady’s favourite target and re-defining the slot receiver position.
The former Miami Dolphin knows this will be his last big contract, and at 31, his prime may nearly be over and he will be trying everything he can to get as much money as possible out of the Patriots.
Coach Belichick does not hold many sentiments towards players, regardless of what they have done for the club, and as such few will be surprised if the Patriots do go ahead and release their former star without batting an eye-lid.
There are plenty of younger, better and cheaper options available – Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings and Percy Harvin to name a few – and New England will be looking to the future of the franchise without too much concern as to whether Welker is part of that journey or not.