Former Patriot All Pro Wes Welker joined The Herd today to discuss a number of NFL topics, including how his history of concussions will impact his decision regarding his NFL future.
Welker is currently a free agent. He’s in the process of deciding whether he will play in the NFL this year. He has a well-documented history of concussions. He missed significant time during his stint with the Denver Broncos due to the league’s new concussion protocols that force players to sit out games. He played in 8 games for the Rams last season.
Welker recently saw the movie “Concussion” for the first time during his current trip to L.A. He said the revelations in the movie made him angry at the NFL.
“For everything to happen the way it did. There’s so many instances where the NFL’s covering this up. Covering that up. Doing this. Doing that. It’s almost like a legalized mafia that you’re watching.”
Welker became close friends with Junior Seau during their time as teammates with the Patriots. Seau committed suicide in 2012, at least partly, as a result of concussions he sustained during his NFL career. Seau’s tragic death has impacted Welker significantly.
He is also the father of 9 month-old twins. He admitted that becoming a father has changed his perspective on whether continuing to play is worth the long term risk.
“You think to yourself. ‘Well I’m okay now.’ But you start thinking, ‘Am I gonna be okay 10 years from now? 15? 20?’ And you really have to watch yourself. You have to watch how your personality changes. Make sure everything is good with the family, with the wife.”
Welker said the NFL culture rewarded him for reentering games on numerous occasions after sustaining concussions.
“That’s just the way you want to be. And that’s what coaches want. That’s what they kind of strive on. And they’ll sit there and make points to other players, ‘Look what Wes did.’