Wes Welker is out.
Danny Amendola is in.
More importantly for the Patriots though, OT Sebastian Vollmer is coming back after signing a four-year deal.
During the Bill Belichick era, many offensive players have had a tough time staying with the Patriots long term. However, with this signing, the Patriots have managed to bring back their entire starting offensive line from 2012 to protect Tom Brady going into 2013.
By the way, don’t think this won’t ease some of Brady’s frustration about the Pats letting Welker walk.
Tom Brady—like all quarterbacks, but even more so than most—needs a solid front 5 and the re-signing Vollmer assures Brady that he will be working with 5 guys that he knows very well.
Brady doesn’t like to be hit in the mouth and is one of the worst scramblers in the game. If given enough time and kept upright though, Tom Brady can pick any given defense apart regardless of who is playing WR.
With the two-headed monster of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez at the TE position, the Vollmer signing was arguably more important than anything else on the Patriots checklist this offseason.
Bottom line is: while the pain of Welker leaving may be fresh, it should be a distant memory come regular season while Brady stands comfortably in the pocket.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson