Believe it or not, Free Agency opened just one week ago. And it's been nearly a week since Wes Welker left the New England Patriots for the Denver Broncos. And I think most people have moved on... Apart from the media.
This means the Welker storm is still going strong, after Robert Kraft (who seems to be on a little media tour) defended their negotiations with Welker and said they wanted him. He also said Welker's agents misread the market.
And now his agents have shot back, attacking the way the Patriots behaved when trying to make a deal for Wes Welker. (Source)
“[T]he Patriots made one offer to Wes Welker since the prior negotiations ended in July 2012,” Athletes First said in the statement. “Both sides also agree that this two-year offer came just hours before the start of free agency despite discussions that began at the NFL Combine. Moreover, this lone offer was presented as a ‘take it or leave it offer.’ When we asked if there was room for structural changes, we were told no. We made a counter-offer for the same term and same maximum dollar amount as their offer and it was rejected. We inquired if any of the offer’s components were negotiable and were told no. This refusal to actually negotiate made it easy to reject the Patriots offer. Nevertheless, when we received the Denver Broncos’ offer, Wes personally talked to Mr. Kraft to give the Patriots the opportunity to match it. The Patriots rejected this opportunity and Wes signed with the Denver Broncos.”
So basically, the Welker camp is saying the Patriots didn't really want Welker, as they weren't willing to negotiate. But that's not necessarily true. As always with the Patriots, they wanted to keep their guy, but on their price. The felt Welker's market was 2 years, $10mil, and that's what they offered.
But that's besides the point. The point is the whole Welker discussion needs to stop. It's been a week since he left, is there nothing more to talk about? I know Welker was a massive part of the Pats organization, but this departure has been coming for a year when they couldn't sort it out and he signed the Franchise Tag. The fallout over the move has been over extensive, and the Patriots have got bigger things to worry about than what happened between Welker and the team, for example, what's going on with John Abraham, Dwight Freeney and Julian Edelman?
So, there's probably going to be more coming out about what transpired in the Legal Tampering period and on the Tuesday, but in the end, does it really matter? Or will any of the events that happened actually surprise you? This is classic Patriots behavior, they've done it before, and as long as Bill Belichick's around, they'll do it again. So can we move on and focus on what's going on with people who are/could be Patriots in the near future?
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