New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, who was tagged as the Patriots’ franchise player last month and has yet to sign his tender or participate in voluntary workouts, said Tuesday he has not had any talks with the team on a long-term deal since being tagged and did not think he would attend mandatory minicamp if there wasn’t progress toward a long-term deal.
“Through my body of work, through the past five years, I think what I’ve done I’ve earned a long-term deal,” he said in an interview with Adam Jones on ESPN Boston Radio on Tuesday (listen to the interview HERE). “It’s what I am looking for and what I want. Hopefully that’s the case and hopefully we come to something where we can make that happen.”
He was not present for the start of the Patriots’ voluntary workout program last week and sounded like he was leaning toward sitting out the mandatory workouts -- minicamp from June 12-14 -- as well.
“I’m not 100 percent sure on that. I don’t know if I will or not. I’m thinking I’m probably not going to (attend mandatory workouts), but things could change,” Welker told ESPN Boston Radio. "We’ll just see how it all plays out.”
“I just feel that this was the best, really the only, leverage I had is to take this route,” he told ESPN Boston Radio. “It’s not a route I thought I’d ever take, just because that’s not me. It’s just kind of the spot I’ve been put in.”
Welker has made his point and we expect that when the draft is over the Patriots will turn their attention to working out a long-term deal.