UNION WANTS EXPLANATION ON WELKER DEAL
Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the NFLPA wants an explanation from the NFL management council regarding the trade that sent receiver Wes Welker from the Dolphins to the Patriots.
The trade was preceded by reports that the Patriots were ready to sign Welker to a $38.5 million offer sheet, which presumably would have included a poison pill that would have make it virtually impossible for the Dolphins to match the deal.
In the end, the two teams worked out a trade that sent a second-round and a seventh-round pick to the Fins for the rights to Welker. The receiver thereafter inked a five-year, $18.1 million contract.
The NFLPA is looking into the matter based reportedly on complaints from Welker's agent, Vann McElroy, regarding the fact that the manner in which the deal went down reduced the value of the contract that Welker ultimately signed.
The concern apparently is that the Pats and Fins put their heads together to come up with a way to get Welker to New England without the Pats having to use the poison pill. The real question, as we see it, is whether Welker would have earned more under the non-phony provisions of the New England offer sheet if he had signed the offer and waited for the Fins to decide whether to match it.
Of course, if the Pats had used the poison pill and if the Fins had matched the deal, Welker would have had (if the reports were accurate) guaranteed pay of $38.5 million over the next seven seasons.
Fialkov writes that the issue likely won't go anywhere, citing the opinion of an unnamed agent.
"When it comes to anti-tampering and collusion in regards to players, generally the league looks the other way and hands out a slap on the wrist unless the player's agent gets all frustrated and thinks their player has been devalued," the agent told Fialkov. "If the player's happy with the offer and the teams are happy, the league's stance is, 'Let's move on.''
(Or move out.)
In this case, however, the player (or, at least, the agent) isn't happy. And we've got a feeling this one isn't going to die a quiet death. Read on for more.