Hey, fellow Patriots fans. Before you continue acting like losing Wes Welker is the end of the world, I have two facts for you to consider.
#1. Wes Welker was on this team for 6 seasons, and the Patriots won 0 Super Bowls.
#2. During that same time, 6 teams which did not have Wes Welker won 6 Super Bowls.
In other words, having Wes Welker doesn't guarantee winning. And not having him does not guarantee losing. There is a future for this franchise without Wes Welker.
I'm not happy to see him go. He was great here. NOBODY in the NFL could do what he did at the level he did it. The notion that his production and importance to the offense can be replaced by Danny Amendola or anyone else is utterly absurd. Without Welker, no matter who the Patriots acquire, the offense will be forced to change dramatically.
That being said, I'm going to reserve any strong emotional reactions until the off-season is complete.
The Patriots didn't think Welker was worth $6 million. Their offer was suspiciously close, but still too low for Welker to take. Did the Patriots offer him the $5M, then he got the $6M offer from Denver? Or was the order reversed? If the Patriots made their offer AFTER Denver, then they evidently didn't want him on the team anymore.
Why? Who knows? Maybe he has concussion issues, maybe they were worried about his future durability, maybe they want receivers that are more physical. Whatever. I am a "In Bill We Trust" guy, so I will trust the Patriots to figure out how to develop an offense without Welker. I sincerely hope that it's not the same kind of offense, relying on Julian Edelman in the slot. We got a sneak preview of that early in the 2012 season and it was a nightmare.
I heard some people, most vocally Michael Felger of 98.5, point out this "shopping at Wal-Mart" style of the Patriots is why they haven't won a Super Bowl since the 2004 season. Felger points to 2006, when the Patriots let Deion Branch go to Seattle.
Some people who are upset to see Welker leave seem to have selective memories about why the Patriots haven't won as many Super Bowls as they could these last 6 seasons...
I'm not saying you discard Welker because of this drop or his drop in the AFC Championship game. But don't revise history to suit your emotional argument. Don't forget that this drop was huge. And that despite the "Patriot Way" of bargain hunting, which is being so heavily critiqued for not delivering a title, it would have resulted in a title if Welker had done his job and caught this pass.
So calm down, people. This move, by itself, hurts. But let's at least wait and see what the Patriots do this off-season before throwing temper tantrums.