Former Miami Dolphins receiver Wes Welker gave the Dolphins a gift today - he left the AFC East. Welker spent the last six years reminding Dolphins fans of exactly what they lost when the Dolphins traded him to the New England Patriots in the 2007 offseason.
Welker was an unrestricted free agent with the Dolphins after the 2006 season. Unfortunately, the Dolphins did not anticipate the interest from the New England Patriots, and only tendered Welker at the $1.35 million mark, meaning it was just a second round pick to steal him from South Florida. The Patriots appeared ready to offer Welker a contract, with a poison pill that would have spiked Welker's salary if he were to play numerous games in the state of Florida. Knowing they could not afford to match the contract, the Dolphins decided to trade Welker to New England for a second- and a seventh-round pick.
Now, after catch over 110 passes in five of the last six seasons, only not reaching the mark in the injury shortened 2010 season (torn ACL and MCL) when he still had 86 receptions, Welker is finally out of New England, heading to the Denver Broncos.
Losing an obvious weapon for Tom Brady and the Patriots is plenty of reason to celebrate for the Dolphins and their fans, as well as the fans of the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. None of them will have to see Welker twice every year.
Interestingly, Welker will now play with another future Hall of Fame quarterback, Peyton Manning. Welker will be able to compare exactly which of the two is actually the better quarterback.