When Wes Welker went on what NFL players called a ‘suicide mission’ and took out Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib, New England head coach Bill Belichick was not happy. The man is usually not happy, as The Wall Street Journal infamously reported that he smiled less than ten times this past season, but Belichick was especially unhappy with the hit on Talib.
Maybe it was because the hit took his best defensive back out of the game, or maybe it was because the hit was delivered by a former receiver but Belichick seemed to expect the NFL to fine Welker for the collision.
The NFL has decided they’re not going to do that and have actually gone a step further to try and clear the air. Much to the chagrin of Belichick, the league has deemed Welker’s hit on Talib last Sunday a clean hit.
NFL head of refs Dean Blandino on the Welker/Talib play: “Under the current rules, this is a legal play.” More on Total Access…
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 22, 2014
This is likely to make Belichick even more unhappy than he already was, but he league has ruled and the matter is no more. While the hit was deemed legal by the NFL, that will hardly stop the debate over whether or not Welker intentionally took out Talib.
But should he ever be asked what his intentions were, he can now fall back on the league ruling that the hit was legal.