Patriots receiver Wes Welker has signed his franchise tender and is in the fold for the 2012 season, but that doesn’t mean he’s satisfied with the way negotiations on a long-term contract have gone.
In fact, Welker says the Patriots are now offering him less money than the two-year, $16 million, fully guaranteed deal they offered during the 2011 season.
“There have been talks, but nothing that’s brightened anything at all,” Welker said, via the Boston Herald. “It’s actually gotten worse.”
Still, Welker doesn’t sound like he has any second thoughts about signing the franchise tender, which guaranteed his base salary of $9.5 million this year and also guarantees that next year he’ll either get a 20 percent pay raise, get to test unrestricted free agency, or get a long-term contract done with the Patriots.
“The ball’s in their court. I just want to play,” he said. “At the end of the day, if it’s one year, $9.5 million, it’s one year, $9.5 million. I’m good with that.”
Welker said he didn’t want to miss the start of organized team activities and that he thinks a good offseason followed by a good season will give the Patriots little choice but to show him the money.
“That’s kind of my mindset,” Welker said. “To go out and show them I deserve it.”