Wes Welker May Retire From Denver Broncos
By Chase Ruttig
Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker (83) is defended by Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler (20) during the NFL divisional playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Wes Welker has made the most of his career in the NFL, going from an undrafted afterthought to one of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning’s targets over his run that has spanned 11 seasons. However when it comes to the 2015 season, the slotback may not be up for one more swan song to end what has been a successful run in the league.
According to multiple sources, Welker is considering calling it a career this offseason after a rash of injuries has the veteran seriously considering his health when it comes to continuing to play football next season.
Welker has had a long documented bout with concussions in the latter stages of his career, suffering multiple documented head injuries with the Broncos that have sidelined him and have turned him into a shell of his former playing self. Those factors and an uncertain situation with the Broncos appear to be leading to the five time 100 catch receiver with the New England Patriots considering hanging up his cleats.
From FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo
"The 33-year-old wide receiver, who is slated to become a free agent next month, is considering retirement after several years of head injuries and declining production, sources have told FOX Sports.One of the sources said no final decision has been made, though Welker has told concerned friends, family members and associates he’s at least giving serious thought to walking away.Welker has mulled the issue in recent weeks after telling reporters in the immediate wake of the divisional-round loss to the Indianapolis Colts he was “not even thinking about that right now.” One day later, as he and his Broncos teammates were cleaning out their lockers, Welker was asked about returning to Denver and replied, “I don’t know. There are a lot of things I’ve got to figure out in the offseason.”"
If Welker does retire the Broncos will lose a serviceable veteran which if Peyton Manning comes back for another season leaves their passing attack with one less option. Throw in the uncertain futures of expiring free agents in Demaryius and Julius Thomas, and you can see the Broncos slightly missing Welker’s presence if he does retire even if he is less productive than he was at his peak.
Welker should probably retire for the best interests of his longterm health considering the effects of CTE on retired football players and his documented history of concussions clearly already impacting him. If he does retire it will end a long career of an underdog who went from undrafted to playing alongside the two best quarterbacks of his era at different stages, nearly hitting 1,000 catches and 10,000 receiving yards over a decade plus in the league where he made his mark against all odds.
Those accomplishments should make Welker able to retire at peace with himself if his mind is on his longterm health when it comes to his decision. Concussions are a serious issue and with impacted production along with impacted health, Welker should make the right decision to retire when he is able to walk away on his own terms this offseason. What he does is ultimately his decision, but it appears that Welker will not be returning to the Broncos or football come the start of the 2015 NFL season.