Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker signed his franchise tender this week and then complained that the Patriots reduced the amount of money they’re offering him on a long-term contract. Now he says he shouldn’t have said that.
Speaking to reporters at his football camp, Welker backtracked on his comment that contract negotiations have “actually gotten worse.”
“That was probably a bad choice of words saying they’ve gotten worse. They’ve stayed the same,” Welker said, via Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe. “I’m franchised for the year and I’m completely happy with that and completely OK with it.”
Although his decision to sign the franchise tender shows Welker wants to stay in New England, he’s in an awkward position in contract negotiations: He wants more money, but he knows that the Patriots aren’t the type of team to reward a player who complains about his contract publicly. And he wants to remain in New England, but signing the tender removes the leverage he had from the threat that he might hold out into the regular season.
So Welker will probably refrain from saying much of anything about his contract going forward. His best chance of getting a deal done is to do it quietly.