Wide receiver Wes Welker spent the offseason trying to get a long-term deal from the Patriots, only to watch them hand contract extensions to tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez instead.
If that bothers Welker, he’s doing a good job of hiding it. Welker was asked about Hernandez’s deal after practice on Monday and exposed no ill feelings about the Patriots’ decision to make the tight end a richer man.
“Good for him. I’m definitely happy for him,” Welker said, via Mark Daniels of the Boston Herald. “He’s a great player and done a lot of great things for us and it’s good to have him here.”
Welker will make $9.5 million this season under the franchise tender and can’t sign a deal with the team until after the 2012 season comes to a close. The inability to get a deal done this year while others got their money as well as the prospect of a franchise tag of $11.4 million next season have led to speculation that this will be Welker’s last hurrah in New England. The wideout was less forthcoming on that topic than he was about his feelings regarding Hernandez’s contract.
“I think you have to ask coach Belichick that. I’m just going out here trying to do my job the best of my ability and let everything else take care of itself.”
Asking Belichick isn’t likely to lead to a more expansive answer, but the Patriots’ moves this offseason suggest that they find it easier to contemplate life without Welker than life without their two tight ends.