SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Star wide receiver Wes Welker will be an unrestricted free agent next month. Is it possible he’d leave the New England Patriots?

“He would be tough to do without,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew, noting the team may be limited in what it can do to keep him. “That’s one of the problems with the (salary) cap. It’s a quarterback league, we all know that. Once you get the quarterback, then you want to keep him. He becomes the star. You have to give him a lot of your money. He eats up your cap, and you have to surround him with good players, and you do that, and boom, you’re out of money.”

Welker is one of several NFL stars who may end up on different teams next season.

“It’s a whole different game,” the former coach said. “The job that they have to do today as a coach in the NFL is a lot tougher than the job that I had to do because we didn’t have big salaries. We didn’t have free agency. We didn’t have salary cap. When we got good players and a good team, and a core and a nucleus, we could keep them as long as they played.”

Madden said he watched the Westminster dog show as an affenpinscher named Banana Joe won the top prize. John’s two Newfoundlands watched with him.

“They look for flaws. They just kind of shake their head. And then when they drool. I think that means that they don’t like what they’re seeing so they go to sleep.” (8:05)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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