Two of the greatest receivers in NFL history believe it would be a mistake for the Patriots and Wes Welker to part ways.

Welker is set for free agency for the second consecutive year, and there is a very low probability the Pats will use the franchise tag on him again, which means he’ll hit the open market if they don’t strike a deal by March 12. Considering some of the massive contracts doled out to less productive receivers last offseason, Welker in free agency would be completely unpredictable.

As Patriots owner Robert Kraft said before the Super Bowl, it takes two sides to reach a deal. Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin, who spent his entire 12-year career with the Cowboys, thinks those two sides would be out of their minds to stop working together.

More specifically, Irvin thinks the Patriots would be crazy to let Welker walk away.

“Absolutely, absolutely crazy. But I also think Wes would be crazy leaving the Patriots,” said Irvin, who works for the NFL Network. “What you need is a great coach that says, ‘I recognize your skill set. Let me make sure I ask you to do what you do best.’ That’s what Wes does. That’s what New England does with Wes. That’s why it’s a perfect fit.

“Tom Brady loves throwing inside. You’ve got (Rob Gronkowski) who is going to give you vertical size and also get you up the field vertical, but you need that small guy that works in small spaces. Wes is that guy. As long as you have Tom Brady, you better have Wes Welker, or you will see Tom Brady not (playing) like Tom Brady.”

Since joining the Patriots in 2007, Welker’s 672 receptions are 80 more than anyone else on the planet, so there’s no denying his production as the league’s supreme slot receiver. To Irvin’s point, Brady’s numbers have also spiked since Welker’s arrival, but there are plenty of factors that come with that.