The National Football League free agency period has begun and the top wide receivers are already getting a lot of attention.
Wes Welker, Mike Wallace and Greg Jennings are a few of the big names that are receiving a lot of of coverage so far with Welker being the most interesting of the bunch.
There were early reports that Wes Welker and the Patriots were close to finalizing a multi-year deal to keep him a Patriot for the rest of his career but Welker has chosen to see what the market is for his services before making a final decision.
Welker is clearly Tom Brady's favorite target by averaging a league-leading 112 catches a year, but over the last few years the relationship between Wes Welker and coach Bill Belichick has been a little frosty at best.
Wes Welker has not been following the "Patriot Way" of bland news conferences and short and shallow soundbites to the media. Wes has shown his personality by poking fun at Rex Ryan and has even taken some subtle shots at his own coach, Belichick.
No one really believes that Welker will re-sign with another team besides Patriots, but what teams could actually lure him away and force the Tom Brady to find a new favorite target?
Here are three teams in mind that have a legitimate shot at Wes Welker and could make him rethink going back to Foxboro:
1. Houston Texans: Currently the Texans have Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, and Arian Foster as weapons for Matt Schaub. Wes Welker could provide depth as a slot receiver and demand double coverage, freeing up Johnson and Arian Foster out of the backfield. Wes Welker is from Texas and the homecoming could be just what this team needs to get past the Patriots.
2. Green Bay Packers: Yes, the Packers have a lot of receiver's with Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb, so why go there? Because the loss of Greg Jennings opens up a space and Aaron Rodgers knows how to find his guys and spreads the football around just like Tom Brady does.
At this stage of his career, Welker wants to play on a team that is competing for championships year in and year out. The Packers would be a great fit for Welker.
3. Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning would love to steal away Tom's favorite receiver and add Wes Welker to the Broncos' fold. Welker would give Peyton another weapon on the outside and in the slot and would be an upgrade over Brandon Stokely. The Broncos have other needs, especially on the defensive side of the ball, but it would not hurt to take a run at Welker.
The three teams listed above could make next season more interesting by signing Wes Welker, but his contract demands could make it difficult. Welker wants to be and should be paid at the highest dollar amount that a wide receiver can make in the NFL.
The salary cap hit a team would have to absorb could scare off the teams listed above. However, if one of those teams matches or beats the average annual salary that the New England Patriots are offering the decision could be a tough one for the All-Pro receiver.