Thus far, all we have to go on are little soundbites from each of them, but they all certainly leave you to draw the conclusion that there is a bit of animosity there.
It all started last year, the Patriots offered a lucrative contract extension to Welker but he turned it down. He took a "leap of faith" by begrudgingly signing his franchise tender and showing up for training camp. A deal didn't get done.
Things worsened in the beginning of the season. Welker saw his snaps reduced in the beginning of the year as Julian Edelman started being worked into the mix more. Aaron Hernandez then went down with a knee injury in Week 3, and Welker was brought into the mix. After a big game against the Denver Broncos in Week 5, Welker said post-game that it was 'Nice to stick it in Bill's face'.
and that, ladies and gentlemen, was Clue # 1.
Just before free-agency starts, rumors start to swirl that Welker actually wants to "stick it to the Patriots" by signing with a rival team. Ultimately, he did end up doing just that.
Clue # 2.
In pre-season of this past year, Welker appears in Sports Illustrated and complains about Bill Belichick's coaching tactics. He says that sometimes you "just have to put up with him" and said that Belichick got him in 2012 like he never had before.
Clue # 3.
Things are relatively quiet throughout the regular season, but following the Patriots loss in the AFC Championship game, Bill Belichick blasts Welker for a hit on Aqib Talib. The hit knocked the Pats best corner out of the game, and was a turning point in a Bronco victory.
This brings us to today. Ordinarily, we might not think twice about this comment, but with all of that context it seems a bit more severe. After being asked about Bill Belichick all week, Welker did not take the bait and gave the media nothing.
The receiver did perhaps have subtle jab for the coach in his praise of Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase.
“He’s very open to his players’ ideas,” Welker said. “I feel like a lot of coaches hear the players’ ideas and they’re like, ‘Yeah, yeah, whatever. I’ll coach, you play.’ He does a good job of actually putting the plays in, which I’ve never seen before. It’s great to have that feedback and working together.”
It's a subtle jab, but a jab nonetheless. It aligns well with Welker's previous comments that revealed he was somewhat unhappy with Belichick as coach while he was with the Patriots.