Why? 31 is over the hill? of course he's gonna get paid. Yes, Stubby, at the beginning of this last year, BB had Welker in the dog house, remember? Didn't target him, might not have even had him start. Pats sucked hard, went 3-3 or something and then the pats had no choice but to go back to welker. Hernandez, Edelman, and Gronk getting hurt might have had something to do with welker's yardage last year as I am sure if BB could have continued to ice welker, he would have.Nobdy is giving big money to a 31 yr old slot receiver who has already had knee surgery. He is past the big payday mark and has a better chance at good pay on a playoff caliber team by staying.
Coach didn't see him as important yet involved him in enough plays for him to rack up over 1300 yds to lead the team? Yea, I'm sure Bellichick wants to let his leading receiver to go.
Branch had 454 yds in 2004 leading up to the SB. And He wasn't let go until after the following season where he still wasn't a 1000 yd WR. Different players at different points in their career. Branch was allowed towalk but NE will probably resign WW.
Here you go:
So yeah, I would not be surprised to see Welker demand to get paid on his last deal. NE sucked without him bad, unlike branch, but BB is stubborn and never pays WR's, including SUPER BOWL hero branch, back when the Pats were a running oriented team.(not reg. season hero)
Lots of people give big money to old wr's. Welker is hardly slowing down and would be an asset to every last team in the NFL. lol