The rollercoaster negotiations between the
Patriots and franchised wide receiver Wes Welker continue.
New England announced May 21 that Welker had
signed his $9.5 million franchise tender, a week after the receiver
himself made such an announcement on his Twitter account proclaiming it
A couple days after signing his franchise tender,
Welker then told the Boston Herald that negotiations were no closer to
a long-term deal. In fact he said they had, "gotten worse." The Herald
reported that things had actually gone backward from the two-year, $16
million fully guaranteed deal that the team reportedly offered Welker
during last season.
But much like things have changed from Welker's
viewpoint so many times in his effort to get the long-term deal he so
desperately desires, the dynamic slot receiver backed off the "gotten
worse" comments a few days after he issued them.
Speaking at his own youth football camp in the
greater Boston area, Welker backtracked a bit and returned to his
previous stance that he's comfortable playing under the franchise
tender for 2012.
Welker said that he was "completely happy with
(being franchised) and completely OK with it. I look forward to
contributing to the team.
"I'm not frustrated whatsoever. I know the words
that came out probably seemed that way but I'm not frustrated at all.
I'm making five times what I did last year so there's no frustration
here. I'm totally content with everything,"
He also indicated that his saying that the
negotiations had "gotten worse" was a "bad choice of words. They've
stayed the same."
Later this past week Patriots owner Robert Kraft
voiced his opinion on the ongoing negotiations in a pair of interviews
at the NFL meetings.
"We'd like him to be a Patriot for life," Kraft
told ESPN in Atlanta. "To do that requires both sides to bend and do
what they have to do. We understand the cap and how much room we have
there and how we value the position. He has people representing him
that want to get the last dollar. I would love him to finish his career
with us, but it takes two sides to get that done."
Kraft continued with that two-to-Tango line of
thinking in comments to NFL Network.
"Well we'd like to see him be a Patriot for life
but it takes two sides," Kraft told NFLN. "We're just happy he's back
in the system. He's a wonderful young man, and a special guy. I think
both sides would like to do a deal, but it requires intelligence and
putting our team first."
So while plenty has been said and a number of
things have happened in the Welker negotiations in the past couple
weeks, things don't appear to have changed all that much.
Welker says he wants to be a Patriot for the long
haul. The Patriots say they want him to be a member of the team "for
But talk can be cheap, while NFL contracts aren't.
And despite all the rhetoric it doesn't appear that Welker is any
closer to the lucrative, long-term deal he is looking for in New
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