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Patriots acquire Miami WR Welker

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (March 5, 2007) -- The New England Patriots acquired wide receiver and kick returner Wes Welker from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick.

Welker, a restricted free agent, was the Dolphins' leading receiver in 2006 with 67 catches for 687 yards and a touchdown. He did it despite starting only two games.

The 5-foot-9, 195-pound player also had led Miami in both punt returns and kickoff returns in each of the last three seasons, and was the Dolphins' all-time leading kickoff returner in yardage and total returns. He has 96 career receptions for 1,121 yards and a touchdown, 127 punt returns for 1,232 yards and 170 kickoff returns for 3,858 yards and a touchdown.

He also served as an emergency kicker in a game against the Patriots in 2004, making a field goal and an extra point.

Welker was originally signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech just before the 2004 season. He was released by the Chargers and signed by the Dolphins in September 2004.

The Patriots have taken an aggressive approach to free agency. They waited less than two days before signing Pro Bowl linebacker Adalius Thomas away from the Baltimore Ravens.

They also struck deals with veteran tight end Kyle Brady and running back Sammy Morris.

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