Wes Welker leaves 49ers to join Dolphins coaching staff as assistant coach

Wes Welker didn't technically get his NFL start as a player with the Miami Dolphins. And neither was it the place where Welker became one of the league's great slot receivers.

But Miami represented an important step in his early development as a player, and now he's returning to Miami as an assistant coach.

New Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel confirmed that Welker will be joining his staff in Miami. The two were on staff together with the San Francisco 49ers for the past three years under 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver coach Wes Welker will be taking the same role on the staff of the Miami Dolphins. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Former San Francisco 49ers wide receivers coach Wes Welker will be taking the same role on the staff of the Miami Dolphins. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Welker, 40, originally was signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Diego Chargers and played one game for them in 2004 before joining the Dolphins. He played there for three seasons before being traded as a restricted free agent to the New England Patriots, three times leading the NFL in receptions. Welker also went on to later play with the Denver Broncos and St. Louis Rams.

After retiring in 2015, Welker spent two years Bill O'Brien's Houston Texans staffs in 2017 and 2018 before joining the 49ers. There are some in league circles who believe it's only a matter of time before Welker is considered for head-coaching vacancies.

Welker's work with the 49ers' Deebo Samuel has been highly praised, and the Dolphins have a young pupil in Jaylen Waddle who could flourish even more under Welker's guidance following a strong rookie season.