The In a trade today with the Miami Dolphins, the New England Patriots acquired restricted free agent WR Wes Welker today in a trade with the Miami Dolphins. Welker, who was tendered by the Dolphins at the mid (2nd round) level, was in Foxborough on Sunday to meet with the team, and possibly sign an offer sheet that was expected to be difficult for the Dolphins to match.
The trade provides Miami with additional compensation they wouldn't have received if Welker signed the offer. Now instead of receiving just a second round pick, Miami will reportedly receive a second and a seventh round pick from New England.
The Patriots needed to address their lack of depth at the receiver position. Welker not only provides the Patriots with another option in the passing game, but a dangerous return threat on special teams. Welker, has appeared in 47 games with 3 starts over his career. The 5-foot-9, 195-pound pass catcher led the Dolphins with 67 receptions for 687 yards and 1 TD last season. In addition, Welker returned 41 punts for 378 yards (9.2 avg.) and 48 kickoffs for 1,064 yards (22.2 avg.).
|Miami Dolphins Wes Welker (83) is knocked out of bounds on the 48 yard line by New York Jets Mike Nugent (1) and Ryan Myers (58) on a kickoff return during the second half of their NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 18, 2005 in Miami . The Dolphins won 24-20. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)|
Welker becomes the sixth receiver on the Patriots roster that includes: Reche Caldwell, Jabar Gaffney, Chad Jackson, Bam Childress and Kelvin Kight.
New England continues it's frantic free agent acquisition spending spree with the signing of Welker. The Patriots kicked off free agency by re-signing UFA's Heath Evans and Billy Yates on Friday. They then added Sammy Morris, Kyle Brady and Adalius Thomas on Saturday.
This latest move leaves defensive back as the main priority for the team to address via free agency or the Draft. New England could also trade for additional depth at linebacker and the defensive backfield.