Patriots WR Wes Welker has not signed his tender, nor will he until the two sides are closer to a long term deal. It just doesn't make sense -- business sense -- for Welker to sign and have to report to camp. As he said Monday, he has 9.5 million reasons why he WILL sign in time for the regular season.
Wes Welker said he wants to be at the Patriots' mandatory minicamp June
12-14, but his status as an unsigned franchise player could still
Welker, designated the Patriots franchise player and
guaranteed $9.5 million for 2012 if he signs the tender, said on WEEI
Radio in Boston that he's anxious to work out a long-term deal with New
"I think we're all on the same page and we're all trying to
collectively come together and make something happen," Welker said.
most important date on the offseason calendar for Welker, the mandatory
minicamp is typically a series of full-squad workouts and team-building
sessions that include installation of offensive and defensive plays and
personnel groups. There's also a wealth of individual and position
But Welker wouldn't be the first franchise
designated player to skip the workout and incur the fine permitted by
league rules for player absences. Often, those fines can be erased as
part of negotiations to end a holdout or toward a long-term extension.
top two receivers in the NFL in terms of salary are Calvin Johnson
(Lions) and Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals). While Welker is the favorite
target of quarterback Tom Brady, he's not considered a once-a-decade
type of talent as Johnson and Fitzgerald are and might not be paid in
the same $120-million plus bracket because of it.
posting four seasons with at least 110 catches in five years with the
Patriots. The only year he came up short -- 2010 -- he had 86
receptions in 11 starts. Welker turned 31 on May 1.
thing is really just trying to keep a level head about it, and make
sure you're making the best decisions for yourself, but at the same
time, put yourself in a position where you can play for a great team
and hopefully do some great things in the future," he said. "... I
don't think there are any sort of hard feelings on my side or their
side. I think we're all looking forward to the 2012 season and
hopefully do some big things there."
His attendance at
minicamp will be followed, but Welker dismissed the idea that he'd skip
a regular-season game to stump for a new contract.
"There are 9.5 million reasons why I wouldn't miss any regular-season
games," he said.
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