After the New England Patriots and wide receiver Wes Welker failed to come to a long-term deal this off-season, it looks as though this might be the last season for Welker in New England.
Welker is playing under a $9.5 million franchise tender this season, and there are no promises he’ll be back, especially when you consider the team might be forced to eventually choose between Welker and the younger, cheaper Aaron Hernandez.
Patriots president Jonathan Kraft discussed Welker’s future during a Monday spot on WBZ-FM in Boston.
“Look, on a personal level Wes Welker is right there with anybody who has played for the team since our family has owned it,” Kraft said (via SportsRadioInterviews.com). “He’s the ultimate professional. He’s a great football player. A great person. He brings a huge amount of effort every time he steps into this building be it in March or April or be it in October or on a Sunday afternoon. Emotions have to stay out of it when you are looking at the dollars.”
Kraft declined to discuss if the Patriots will use the franchise tag again next season and said the team doesn’t regret getting a deal done before the end of Welker’s last contract, as they did with tight end Rob Gronkowski.
“We have plenty of business situations where people sit down in good faith to try to get something done and people have different perceptions of the world and one side may ultimately end up right and one side probably ends up wrong, but there’s a lot of respect on both side of the table,” Kraft said. “Wes is here. He is a Patriot for this year. Hopefully he’ll be a Patriot beyond.”