It has been nearly 24 hours since the Broncos announced that they had signed Wes Welker away from the Patriots. Tom Brady might (or might not) have been disappointed with Bill Belichick getting outmaneuvered by Peyton Manning and Denver for Brady's favorite target. But according to CSN New England's Tom Curran, the Pats had moved on from Welker on Tuesday.
Interesting news: Amendola signed with the Patriots on Tuesday. NE did not react to Denver, they made choice when Welker went to market— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) March 14, 2013
So despite the public perception, it seems Belichick wasn't outmaneuvered by anybody. It also explains why it didn't take long for New England and Danny Amendola to hammer out a deal shortly after Welker joined the Broncos.
ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss added context Thursday morning.
"The breaking point came Tuesday in the mid-afternoon before the official start of free agency, when the Patriots and Welker's representatives halted contract talks," Reiss wrote. … "[And] the possibility of losing [Welker] and Amendola was deemed too risky, so [the Pats] moved close to locking in the deal with Amendola not long after free agency began Tuesday."
Perhaps most interesting: when Welker's representatives approached the Pats on Wednesday to see if they'd sweeten the Broncos' two-year, $12 million offer, Reiss wrote that "the Patriots did not have an immediate response, which led some in Welker's camp to believe a better offer was a possibility in part to keep him away from the Broncos, one of their top competitors in the AFC."
Just the opposite, it turns out.
What this means for the future of both teams remains to be seen. Amendola is five years younger but injury prone; Welker is durable and insanely productive. Unfortunately, the 2013 season is still another six months away.