Sports Commentary 3/14/13
Tom Brady’s Favorite Receiver is now a Denver Bronco…..
TEARS IN NEW ENGLAND
Who’s the happiest man in the National Football League today? It’s a tie, between Denver Broncos president John Elway and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Who’s the unhappiest? That would be Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who also finds himself in a tie, with every Patriots fan in New England. The word that Elway had pried slot reciever Wes Welker away from the Patriots for a measly $12 million over two years, giving Manning one of the greatest targets he’s ever had, spread like wildfire through New England, and the reaction was nearly unanimous. “I love Wes Welker”, was the plaintful cry of many a Yankee, echoing the senitments expressed many times by Brady, who just two weeks ago gave the Patriots a discount renegotiation to clear cap space he probably believed would be used to keep his favorite reciever. I wouldn’t be in a hurry to invite Brady to the same cocktail party with coach Bill Belichick and owner Bob Kraft, who, coincidentally expressed that same emotion just earlier this week, about loving Wes Welker and hoping he’d be a Patriot for life. It wouldn’t have taken a lot of love to have made Kraft’s dream come true, only about a mil a year more than they were offering to a guy who’d given them a lot of discounts over the years while becoming their most productive reciever, just his way of showing his appreciation for the Pats giving him a chance to play in the NFL. Of course, we’re from Connecticut, we know all about how good Bob Kraft’s word is. Our WTIC afternoon show host could give you first hand chapter and verse on the subject. Imagine Welker’s own surprise at how this turned out. After watching the Patriots take care of tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez the last two years he would have been right to think it was his turn. He must have been understandably disappointed to learn it wasn’t. Belichick and Kraft obviously already had “Plan B” in place. The tears had just begun to fall around New England when they already had a deal in place with former Rams reciever Danny Amendola, a frequent visitor to the disabled list, for five years, $31 millon, 10 million guaranteed, the same guarantee they reportedly offered Welker. So far Amendola has caught zero passes for the Patriots. All Welker did in six seasons in New England was haul in 672 passes, the most by any reciever in those six years, with 4,034 after catch yards, also the most. In that stretch he had five 100 reception campaigns, most in NFL history. Which of these statistics am I putting too much importance on? What am I missing that Bill Belichick and Bob Kraft, much more knowlegable football people than I, obviously see beyond the 118 catches and six touchdowns last year alone, and Brady’s penchant for looking for old number 83 every time the big money went on the table? Heaven help Danny Amendola. Does anyone remember Danny Cater? The only thing fans in New England really know about Amendola is, he isn’t Wes Welker. Amendola should know this coming in. No one in Patriots history has ever carried as heavy a burden. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.