March 19, 2013
The hard feelings between the Patriots and their former wide receiver Wes Welker continue.
Responding to Patriots owner Robert Kraft's statement that Welker's "agents misrepresented, in their mind, what his market value was," Welker's agents at Athletes First have released a statement to Albert Breer of NFL Network, saying that there was no negotiating with New England because the Patriots were only interested in telling Welker to take what they were offering and like it.
"[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."
Hard feelings between Welker and the Patriots have existed since at least last year, when Welker talked about being unhappy playing for the franchise tender. It's too bad that one of the best and most popular players the Patriots have had is leaving on such terms, but the Patriots and Welker don't seem to like each other very much anymore.