One of the many concerns the Kansas City Chiefs had going in to this offseason was their lack of talent at wide receiver. They famously matched a 90- year old record by not having a single touchdown thrown to a wide receiver.
The Chiefs cut their number-one receiver in Dwayne Bowe, who eventually signed with the Cleveland Browns, and have since replaced him with Jeremy Maclin. Maclin is an upgrade on Bowe but the Chiefs are still thin at the position.
There are several intriguing options in the free agent market such as Michael Crabtree, Reggie Wayne, and former Denver Broncos and New England Patriots standout Wes Welker. Welker spent the last two seasons of his career in Denver and spent the six before that in New England. He set a whole host of records in New England including becoming just the second player to have two seasons with more than 120 catches.
He was a world beater in his prime but suspensions, injuries, and concussions have taken their toll on the slot receiver’s career. Last season was the worst of Welker’s career since becoming a starter as he only played in 9 games and had less than 300 yards receiving. That was quite a fall from grace for a player who once had over 1,500 yards in a single season. He was forced out of the starting lineup by the play of Emmanuel Sanders who had himself a 100 catch season. Some believe that Welker’s career is over but there are still plenty of teams out there that could use a player of his particular skill set.
The Chiefs will team Jason Avant, Albert Wilson, and whoever else they draft with Maclin and will hope that they are able to mesh well with Alex Smith. Adding Welker to that group would give Smith a target that is excellent operating out of the slot and can immediately draw the defense’s attention to open things up for Maclin. The only true receiving threat that the Chiefs have outside of Maclin is tight end Travis Kelce who seems primed for a breakout season this year.
Welker can step right in to that offense and while he may not put up the same numbers that he did in New England, he can still be a very useful player. He is a veteran and aside from the suspension early last season he has kept his nose clean and kept his name out of the news.
The Chiefs may also not have enough money to afford Welker as they are dangerously low on cap room and must still sign their upcoming rookie class. More money can be found if a few other players are cut or simply restructure their contracts. They may also opt to look for a slot receiver in the draft but it may be difficult for a rookie to step in and learn Andy Reid‘s complex offense.
Welker can provide them with a veteran presence in the offense who has been to the big stage even if he fell just short. The Kansas City Chiefs may be in the mood to gamble this offseason and there are plenty of reasons why they should bet on Welker.