Wes Welker, former wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, agreed to a one-year contract with the St. Louis Rams on November 9th.
Wes Welker started his career as a member of the San Diego Chargers. He went undrafted out of Texas Tech in the 2004 NFL Draft, but he signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent. Welker made the team out of training camp; however, the Chargers cut Welker after the first game of the 2004 season. After clearing waivers, Welker decided to sign with the Miami Dolphins, despite being offered a practice squad role with the Chargers.
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Wes Welker played primarily on special teams in his rookie season with the Miami Dolphins. Following his rookie season, the Dolphins promoted Welker to the number three wide receiver role. He hauled in 29 receptions for 434 yards, but he failed to find the end zone. Welker’s production remained relatively quiet as a Miami Dolphin; however, after the 2006 season, the New England Patriots offered the Dolphins a second-round pick and a seventh round pick for Wes Welker.
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As a member of the New England Patriots, Welker developed into one of the best slot receivers in history, with the help of Tom Brady. In six seasons with the Patriots, Welker led the NFL in receptions on three separate occasions (2007, 2009, and 2011). Additionally, Wes Welker recorded 1000 or more receiving yards in five of the six seasons as a member of the Patriots, with a career-high of 1569 receiving yards in 2011. Welker earned five Pro Bowl selections during his time with the Patriots and was named to the NFL First-Team All-Pro twice.
After the 2012 season, Wes Welker and the New England Patriots failed to reach an agreement on a contract, and the Denver Broncos swooped in and signed the five-time Pro Bowl receiver to a two-year, $12M contract. Welker did not enjoy the same level of success with the Broncos as he did with the Patriots. He never eclipsed the 1000-yard receiving mark in Denver, and he struggled to stay healthy for the duration of each season.
After the 2014 season, the Denver Broncos did not re-sign Wes Welker, likely due to the emergence of Emmanuel Sanders. Through the first nine weeks of the 2015 season, Welker was without a team to play for; however, the St. Louis Rams needed depth at the wide receiving position. Thus, they signed the veteran receiver to a one-year deal. It remains to be seen what type of role Welker will have as a member of the Rams, but based on his diminishing production over the past few seasons, he likely has a small role for the team.
Wes Welker carries injury concerns with him to St. Louis. As a member of the Denver Broncos, Wes Welker suffered numerous concussions, and his career looked in jeopardy. But the St. Louis Rams seem desperate for a receiver in the short-term, and Welker presents a viable option for them. Hopefully, Welker can stay healthy for the Rams and resemble the same receiver from years prior. Look for Welker to be in a Rams jersey this upcoming week.