According to a report from the Miami Dolphins' radio host Greg Likens, a familiar face will be in Davie Wednesday to meet with the team on a free agent visit: wide receiver Wes Welker.
Per a team source, free agent WR Wes Welker is visiting the #Dolphins today. Welker previously played in Miami from 2004-06— Greg Likens (@GregLikens) April 8, 2015
Welker is looking to continue his NFL career into a 12th season, despite a series of concussions over the past few seasons. A five time Pro Bowl receiver with the New England Patriots, Welker had a string of five 100 reception seasons in six years, including leading the league in catches three times. He spent the last two seasons with the Denver Broncos, where he has played 27 of 32 teams games, with 122 receptions for 1,242 yards and 12 touchdowns. Last season, Welker had his lowest reception total since his second season in the league, hauling in just 49 passes for 464 yards and two scores.
Welker joins Miami as rookie
Welker, an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech, started his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers, but was cut and joined the Dolphins. Welker would spend three years with Miami, developing into a slot receiver and key contributor on special teams. During his rookie year, Welker became just the second player in NFL history to return a kick, return a punt, kick an extra point, kick a field goal, and make a tackle in one game.
In his final year with Miami, 2006, Welker caught 67 balls for 687 yards and a score.
After the 2006 season, the Dolphins offered Welker, a restricted free agent, a second round tender, with a $1.35 million one-year contract. However, the New England Patriots suddenly came into the picture, and looked ready to snatch the wide out from the Dolphins. The Patriots were free to negotiate a contract with Welker, but Miami would have had seven days to match.
So, the Patriots were looking to add a poison pill to the deal. Essentially, New England was looking to add a stipulation stating that if Welker played a certain number of games (around 5) in the state of Florida, a huge bonus would kick in. That bonus would prevent the Dolphins from being able to match the offer, and New England would be able to sign Welker, sending a second round pick to Miami for him.
In the end, rather than officially put the poison pill into an offer, the Patriots worked out a trade with the Dolphins, sending their 2007 second and seventh round picks to Miami for Welker.
Role with Miami
If the Dolphins were to sign Welker this offseason, he clearly would not be the 100-reception receiver he was in New England but, if he can maintain his health, he clearly could succeed in Miami's offense. Welker is exceptional at taking a short pass and turning it into a big gain - something that would clearly help quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Welker's presence in Miami's locker room may be a bigger benefit however. The Dolphins have already visited with Michael Crabtree and Greg Jennings this offseason, and want to add a veteran receiver into the youngest receiving corps in the league. The team's top three receivers currently are Jarvis Landry (2nd season), Kenny Stills (3rd season), and Rishard Matthews (4th season).
Plus, Welker coming home to the Dolphins could finally provide closure to one of the biggest thorn in the sides of Dolphins fans.