Aaron Hernandez... Wide Receiver?

With Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker's future with the team uncertain, this would be the right time to consider a possible position switch for tight end Aaron Hernandez. He is obviously a receiving tight end as it is already, and has been used as a wide receiver countless times before. Wouldn't this move make sense?

On paper, yes. Before signing his contract extension last offseason, some agents and analysts believed that Hernandez himself would declare that his true position is a wide receiver with the way the team was using him, so that he would be payed like one. He then signed a massive contract extension, with $16 million in his pocket (guaranteed money) and a possible maximum of $40 million. The Patriots are paying Hernandez with WR money. That is a great deal of the team's salary invested in just the Tight End position; remember they additionally gave TE Gronkowski a monster contract extension. With the Patriots investing so much into their young stars, many have speculated that the door would now be open for Welker to leave for another team.

So, the money says that a move from tight end to wide receiver would be logical for Aaron Hernandez, but would it really be the right choice? Realistically, this does not matter. I can't see Hernandez becoming a full-time wide receiver. Sure, he can run great routes and might as well be a wide receiver already, but there's more to him than that. His blocking may not be his best attribute, but he can do it. Why take that away from him? Let's not forget that he also gets a number of reps as a tail back.

Hernandez is very flexible and can do a number of things. Whether he is labeled as a wide receiver or tight end is invalid. He's getting paid, he's being productive, why does that need to change? Some might say because Welker is leaving that he should be moved. Again, why? Aaron Hernandez will never be Wes Welker. Nobody will. The Patriots seem to be happy with the way Hernandez is being used, and he was paid as a result of his production. Nothing needs to change. Hernandez is a hybrid offensive weapon, let's leave it at that.

Anthony Aidonidis