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Kraft worries that lawyers and agents could “mess up” Welker deal

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Receiver Wes Welker is due to become a free agent, one year after the Patriots used the franchise tag to keep him in place.  With the Patriots unlikely to use the tag again, which would push Welker’s guaranteed pay for 2013 above $11 million, the question becomes whether Welker and the Pats can work out a long-term deal — or whether Welker will wander elsewhere.

Owner Robert Kraft is concerned that greed could get in the way.

“I’d love him to be around, he’s a great guy,” Kraft said of Walker, via our colleague Tom Curran of CSN New England.  “Like I said all along, it takes two sides to make a transaction and then we have to manage the lawyers and the agents that they don’t mess it up.  I think Wes wants to be with us and we want him here so it’s just a matter of whether both sides can be intelligent.”

It’s not the first time Kraft has had concerns about third parties impeding progress toward an agreement.  During the lockout, Kraft repeatedly complained about the lawyers for both sides complicating the situation, and it was personal involvement from Kraft that ultimately helped get a deal done.

Some players hide behind their agents, letting the representatives do the dirty work that the player wants done.  Other players are simply naive and clueless and easily manipulated by someone who has a broader agenda that doesn’t necessarily hinge on achieving the best possible outcome for the player.

Regardless, whether Welker stays with the Pats will be driven in large part by whether he wants to stay with the Pats or whether he wants to pad his bank account with a bigger offer that could come from a team that may not be in the same position to consistently contend, with a quarterback who may not be as good as Tom Brady.

Even though we (or at least I) still think Tom Brady isn’t as good as he used to be.

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55 Responses to “Kraft worries that lawyers and agents could “mess up” Welker deal”
  1. crazybeardedjack says: Feb 2, 2013 10:15 AM

    “Even though we (or at least I) still think Tom Brady isn’t as good as he used to be.”

    Wow, brilliant analysis there. So, you’re saying a 36 year-old QB is not as good as he was when he was in his late 20s or even early 30s? Surprised you haven’t been hired by an NFL front office with gems like that.

  2. wwwmattcom says: Feb 2, 2013 10:15 AM

    Maybe Tim isnt as good as he used to be but Welker drops a lot. When I think of lawyers I think of ambulance chasers ruining this nation. I couldn’t care less if they muck up a multi million dollar deal for the over privileged.

  3. bradyisbest says: Feb 2, 2013 10:20 AM

    hey florio,who would you rather have if brady isnt as good as he used to be?

  4. raqaiw says: Feb 2, 2013 10:20 AM

    Even though we (or at least I) still think Tom Brady isn’t as good as he used to be.

    A media type not fellating Brady?! Blasphemy. Go clear out your desk son;final check is already in the mail.

  5. patssmelllikepoo says: Feb 2, 2013 10:21 AM

    Translation: “I am very cheap when it comes to paying players. If Wes would like to stay for a cheap deal all in the favour of ownership we would love to keep him around.”

  6. nfloracle says: Feb 2, 2013 10:23 AM

    If he feels that way, Kraft should sit down with Welker one-on-one and work out a mutually beneficial deal. Welker’s smart enough to not get hosed by a crafty NFL owner.

  7. aneaglesfan says: Feb 2, 2013 10:24 AM

    I thought the last CBA prevented teams for using the franchise and transition player tags on players 2 years in a row.

  8. jagsfan1 says: Feb 2, 2013 10:28 AM

    I am sure there will be a market for Mr. Welker’s services outside of any offers that he may get from his recent AFC Championship game losing and 2 time recent Super Bowl losing team.

    He might just want to go play for a winner…who knows?

  9. harrisbarton says: Feb 2, 2013 10:29 AM

    hey florio,who would you rather have if brady isnt as good as he used to be?

    ————————————————————–

    Someone who can outrun Ngata on a 4th down and 4 yds to go.

  10. jameswestphal says: Feb 2, 2013 10:30 AM

    Brady’s not as good as he used to be. In other new, water is wet and the sky is blue. Remember when this site was not horrible?

  11. eigglesnosuperbowls says: Feb 2, 2013 10:32 AM

    Pretty ballzzzzzy statement from a cheater !

  12. bearsoxass says: Feb 2, 2013 10:32 AM

    Patriots = cheaters

  13. macker1283 says: Feb 2, 2013 10:36 AM

    The numbers prove Brady is probably better than he used to be. And imagine what his numbers would be if he could throw to Roddy White and Julio Jones every game??? I can assure you that they would be better than the 32 TDs and 14 ints that Ryan put up this year. The issue with Brady is that the Patriots continue to believe they can win in the playoffs without a defense.

  14. gator2006 says: Feb 2, 2013 10:43 AM

    Typo alert in the 3rd paragraph. You called him Walker.

  15. mazblast says: Feb 2, 2013 10:45 AM

    “Other players are simply naive and clueless and easily manipulated by someone who has a broader agenda that doesn’t necessarily hinge on achieving the best possible outcome for the player.”

    Are you talking about the player’s agent–or the GM and/or owner?

  16. ncm42 says: Feb 2, 2013 10:53 AM

    @jamesweatpahl, I’d click a thumbs up for you if I could…

  17. zimaman says: Feb 2, 2013 10:53 AM

    I love this guy and he is a real trooper never backs down

    BUT

    He has has way too many key drops this year

    I would actually let him walk unless the deal is team friendly

    Gronk and Hernandez are going into their prime years and you can find someone else to pickup some of the slack

    Kraft just threw down the gauntlet if Welker wants big money he ain’t getting it in Foxboro

  18. gizzmonic says: Feb 2, 2013 10:53 AM

    Patriots = cheaters… who cares? The parties, parades, rolling rallies, and champagne were all GREAT! I hope they cheat the next 5 years too!

  19. zackattack006 says: Feb 2, 2013 10:53 AM

    Dear Mr. Kraft,

    As long as you use the same lawyers you used to defend you in the Spygate case, you should be okay.

    No worries…

  20. green41563 says: Feb 2, 2013 11:03 AM

    I don’t understand why people regard Brady’s age alone as an indication that he’s lost a step. Quarterback is a unique position. Plenty of quarterbacks remain the same or even get better in their mid- or late 30s, like Elway and Rich Gannon.

  21. htfan says: Feb 2, 2013 11:04 AM

    Kraft is smart enough to know that the lawyers work for him. Just a ploy to hide behind them.

  22. TheWizard says: Feb 2, 2013 11:05 AM

    If by “cheating” you mean contending for Super Bowls, then yes, I think they’ll be cheating as long as BB is coach.

    He’s cold enough to replace Brady if his play drops off too much, especially if he believes Mallet can take over now or any time soon.

    I’ll be watching what they do with Mallet this preseason.

  23. estuart81 says: Feb 2, 2013 11:06 AM

    The numbers prove Brady is probably better than he used to be. And imagine what his numbers would be if he could throw to Roddy White and Julio Jones every game??? I can assure you that they would be better than the 32 TDs and 14 ints that Ryan put up this year. The issue with Brady is that the Patriots continue to believe they can win in the playoffs without a defense.

    *******************************************

    Couldn’t agree more, its the defense that is the real issue. But by giving guys like Hernandez, Gronkowski etc big money (they aren’t overpaid but their cap hit is big), and now need to sign important FAs like Welker and Vollmer (will command a lot of money) and system guys like Edelman and Woodhead that are big contributors to the offense….. you cant use that money to make the defense better. And on top of that Talib and Chung are FAs as well. Talib was the only guy in that secondary that is able to cover a rock.

    You have to choose which side of the ball is more important. Cause if you get Welker and Vollmer, you wont be able to help the D out much, except with the draft (and BBs defensive drafting has been god awful the last few years. And if you let Welker and Vollmer go, how good will the offense be.

    The Pats are in alot tougher and worse position many Pats fans thin they are in.

  24. smithopher says: Feb 2, 2013 11:08 AM

    I think welker has become one of those quintessential patriots by now, I can’t imagine him leaving. They let vrabel and Seymour go though and those dudes were also like patriots poster boys also. It’s tough to get a read on New England because they draft just about as well as anybody and know how to stockpile draft picks. If they can’t get welker to sign for something they deem reasonable they might just let him go and draft a couple possession type receivers in this draft. Who knows. I think it’s safe to say this guy probably cares more about winning than the money though, he’s always struck me as a competitor first, so i foresee him taking a hometown discount to stay with Brady, or at least sign with another contender for cheaper than a team like the chiefs or rams would want to sign him for. Maybe im just naive here, but it could be a real good move for green bay or denver to sign him.

  25. guvsta says: Feb 2, 2013 11:13 AM

    I would love Brady on my team, as would probably 25+ other teams. Don’t know what you’re talking about!

  26. vegasbearfan says: Feb 2, 2013 11:29 AM

    Brady is in decline- he has lost accuracy and cracks under pressure most of the time when he has to go against good defenses- Unless Blowcheck pulls a rabbit out of hat like Harbaugh did with Kapernack, the patriots are history and we will never have to put up the ignorant New Englanders trying to compare Brady to Montana. No QB can hold a candle to Montana that was MVP of 3 Superbowl, won 4 ,never lost one, and never threw a pick in one. Brady is only worthy to hold Montanas jock strap. Also , since we won’t see the 4th championship to NE, we won’t have to address the fact that 2 out of three were only accomplished with cheating. Screw New England!!!!!!!

  27. snarcasms says: Feb 2, 2013 11:29 AM

    Tom Brady is a far better quarterback now than he was during any of the 3 years where he brought home a ring.

  28. andrewproughcfe says: Feb 2, 2013 11:36 AM

    Kraft learned an important lesson — Those nasty lawyers nearly ruined his deal with God-dell to keep his shiny (stolen) trophies after SpyGate was exposed.

  29. deepbacksidedig says: Feb 2, 2013 11:37 AM

    How much did the man get paid to injure
    Brady, Gronkowski, Welker and Ridley?
    Yes one man did all that.
    He be playin on Sunny.

    Anypersons Think these men not getting hurt would have made Brady “better”?
    3 superbowls better?
    4?
    maybe none, most likely mo than none.

    here in ole dirty N’or leens,
    Mista commichna discuss the penalties
    Mr Lawyer found egregious.

    How much is a super bowl worth?
    begins with a B

  30. deepbacksidedig says: Feb 2, 2013 11:47 AM

    Welker have dropped the ball 3 times.
    Specifically at most
    very unconvenient points in Time.

    even if he had a catched dem balls,
    Pats aint givin up no big scratch
    you be not name Brady

    Way it is. Now shaddup and deal.
    *************

  31. flash1283 says: Feb 2, 2013 11:50 AM

    vegasbearfan says:
    Feb 2, 2013 11:29 AM
    Brady is in decline- he has lost accuracy and cracks under pressure most of the time when he has to go against good defenses- Unless Blowcheck pulls a rabbit out of hat like Harbaugh did with Kapernack, the patriots are history and we will never have to put up the ignorant New Englanders trying to compare Brady to Montana. No QB can hold a candle to Montana that was MVP of 3 Superbowl, won 4 ,never lost one, and never threw a pick in one. Brady is only worthy to hold Montanas jock strap. Also , since we won’t see the 4th championship to NE, we won’t have to address the fact that 2 out of three were only accomplished with cheating. Screw New England!!!!!!!

    —-
    Spoken like a true hater!!
    Guess what, it’s NOT just Patriot fans that compare Brady to Montana.
    Steve Young has said it plenty of times.
    But what would he know, he only played in the NFL. He only played with/behind Montana. And this crap about “the Patriots are history” please, we have been hearing that for how many years now?
    Leave it to some jealous Jobber to come with the hate.

  32. flaccotoboldin says: Feb 2, 2013 12:31 PM

    ROFL

    Kraft talking about Welker and Agent being greedy?

    Patriots are constantly under the cap. Always have money to spent, print money, and Kraft hoards it. But is going to call Welker’s camp greedy.

    This organization has no class.

  33. ravenator says: Feb 2, 2013 12:34 PM

    What a shady organization

  34. vike129 says: Feb 2, 2013 12:35 PM

    This owner is pathetic!Wes has did his time and has outplayed his contract(twice!).Let him go somewhere else and make the money he deserves,or at dom=nt be so cheap with the guy.By the way the patriots are nothing more than a glorified regular season tam.

  35. sportsnut101 says: Feb 2, 2013 12:45 PM

    Funny thing is they could of had him locked up on a 3 yr 30 mill deal two season ago but now Kraft messed up He got 9 last season N now I’m sure he will get 3 yr 27 mill deal so in all he could of saved money n cut him after next season because he will be older n that’s what the pats do lol

  36. marcuswelby1 says: Feb 2, 2013 12:47 PM

    vegasbearfan says:
    Feb 2, 2013 11:29 AM
    Brady is in decline- he has lost accuracy and cracks under pressure most of the time when he has to go against good defenses- Unless Blowcheck pulls a rabbit out of hat like Harbaugh did with Kapernack, the patriots are history and we will never have to put up the ignorant New Englanders trying to compare Brady to Montana. No QB can hold a candle to Montana that was MVP of 3 Superbowl, won 4 ,never lost one, and never threw a pick in one. Brady is only worthy to hold Montanas jock strap. Also , since we won’t see the 4th championship to NE, we won’t have to address the fact that 2 out of three were only accomplished with cheating. Screw New England!!!!!!!

    —————————————————————–

    The bottom line is that Brady WILL be considered one of the all time greats, and a sure first ballot Hall of Famer, even if he does not get another ring.
    Sorry but no amount of jealousy will change that!

  37. harrisonhits2 says: Feb 2, 2013 12:53 PM

    “patssmelllikepoo says:
    Feb 2, 2013 10:21 AM
    Translation: “I am very cheap when it comes to paying players. If Wes would like to stay for a cheap deal all in the favour of ownership we would love to keep him around.””

    You know we all hate teams that we’re not fans of for one reason or another. But if you’re going to hate at least know what you’re talking about.

    You think Kraft is cheap ? He’s one of only 2 owners in the league to pay for their new stadium through private financing rather than extorting hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers to do so.

    The Pats also have spent to the cap limit virtually every year Kraft has owned the team. the difference is the don’t give you Mario Williams type 100 million dollar contracts to a handful of players and fill the rest of their roster with scrubs. How much did that huge amount of money sunk into one player help Buffalo last year ?

    What they do is pay a fair wage but not overpay. Welker was an undrafted free agent who was dropped by the Fins and only the Pats were interested. He’s gone on to make many millions from the Pats. You think 9 mil was underpaid last year ? If you make 50k a year in this country you have a good salary.

    9 million dollars is ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY TIMES that 50k for a single year’s work. And if you have a crappy job that pays 20k a year like a lot of younger people Welker made FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY TIMES WHAT YOU DID LAST YEAR. I don’t see that Welker has anything to cry about.

    You know one of the main reasons why the Pats do so well every year ? Here’s a football lesson for you. The word is called D-E-P-T-H. It means when the injuries pile up the Pats have good players to fill in for the starters. Teams that mismanage their cap by overpaying a handful of stars don’t have that depth and when the injuries pile up they fall out of contention for the playoffs. We see it again and again every year.

    So please, hate if you want, just don’t hate mindlessly. Kraft spends as much or more than every other franchise out there, its just managed better.

  38. skolvikesskol says: Feb 2, 2013 1:05 PM

    Florio, thanks for the insight on the Pats plans and future. Didn’t like that you broke it in to 2 posts, but that seems to be the nature of this site, so no biggie. It seems the Pats are realizing and starting to strategize for a changing of the guard. Thats what great teams do, like Green Bay (Faver/Rodgers). However, Wes still ahs some left in the tank and would be a great pick for a handful of teams. The right team would be one with a QB who does not throw down field well and/or have strong run games. For example some teams that could really benefit (maybe take it to the next level) from signing Wes:

    Vikings – Ponder/AP
    KC – Charles/?
    Titans – Locker/CJ1K, although Locker can throw deep, having and underneath possession WR might be the shot in the arm they need on offense.
    Bears – Cutler/Forte
    Redskins – Bob/Morris

    Thoughts?

  39. CKL says: Feb 2, 2013 1:20 PM

    I always chuckle reading smack talk about the Pats FO from Ravens fans. I wonder if they realize that their own GM might not be a GM today without BB? Same goes for their HC being their HC. There’s a reason the two ORGANIZATIONS respect each other.

    I spent this entire last season thinking it was WW’s last as a Patriot. This commentary from Kraft certainly doesn’t change my mind. And I will wish WW well for his new team. He’s given his all to this team every single minute he’s been there, and I hope he DOES find someone willing to pay too much for him.

  40. tigerlilac says: Feb 2, 2013 1:58 PM

    harrisonhits2, I appreciate your work defending the Patriots but Wes Welker was not a street free agent. He was a restricted free agent and the Patriots signed him to an offer sheet and got the Dolphins to agree by sending them not only the second round choice required but an additional late round pick.

  41. arson81 says: Feb 2, 2013 2:02 PM

    If Welker is going to command more than the budget allows, I say thank him for his great service and let him walk.

    Draft Tavon Austin at the end of the first round and add some much needed explosiveness to this version of the Chip Kelly offense. What you lose in grit, and savvy will be made up for in raw speed and playmaking ability. Welker is in decline anyway. Plus it would be an upgrade to your return game as well.

    Then you could take the savings and concentrate on resigning Talib. Because as another poster pointed out above, the defensive drafts haven’t panned out as well as I bet BB would have liked, and Talib is a legit #1 cb that can shadow an elite wr. He will be better in New England than he was here in Tampa, as far as being a headache.

  42. purpleguy says: Feb 2, 2013 2:03 PM

    Even if they agreed to a contract, Welker would probably keep dropping it before it could be signed.

  43. tigerlilac says: Feb 2, 2013 2:09 PM

    vegasbearfan, given your moniker I take it you are aware that the wiseguys picking the pointspreads still seem to place significant value on both Brady and the Patriots. Nate Silver, who predicted the presidentiial election like he had 20/20 hindsight, also picked the Patirots to win the Super Bowl. Alas, the wiseguys and Silver were wrong about the Patriots getting to and winning the Super Bowl but I still value their assessment of the Patriots over yours.

  44. ytownjoe says: Feb 2, 2013 2:29 PM

    How many lawyers does Kraft have on his payroll?

    The players agent’s job is to get fair market value for his client.

    If Welker wants to give the Pats a home town discount, he should tell his agent.

  45. patssteelersorgiants says: Feb 2, 2013 2:30 PM

    I love the Pats but have never liked the Krafts since the Parcells thing. Welker should go get his payday where he can.

  46. pravin68 says: Feb 2, 2013 2:40 PM

    Troy Brown was underpaid even after he was one of the key guys to get them their first SB. Pats are a cheap organization. They lucked out when Brady was so gracious to give them a major discount on his first big contract.

  47. bullcharger says: Feb 2, 2013 2:43 PM

    You are entitled to your opinion on Brady, but as they say, you are what your record says you are. For Brady he made the Super Bowl last year and the AFC Championship this year. He had great statistics both years and was in the discussion for MVP for much of the seasons.

    That means to me that only Eli, Kaepernick and Flacco and Matt Ryan can claim they have had equal or better seasons in the last two years and he has been the most productive if counting both years.

    In the last two years he has done better than 2002, 2005, 2009 and 2010 in terms of results. and his stats have been much better than 2002, 2005 and 2009.

    He is better, not worse. Not winning the big one is more a statement on the teams defense no longer being elite. It’s not related to Brady’s play. In the Super Bowl years the Patriots always were in the top 3 in Point Defense. Now they are always middle of the back. It’s a big difference.

    Sure, he’s getting older and his skills will eventually decline, but don’t judge his if his skills are diminishing by not winning a Super Bowl. There are many guys that don’t win it every year.

  48. bartlettruss says: Feb 2, 2013 2:45 PM

    I can’t stand the Patriots, but to criticize Brady at this point is stupid. He’s probably getting the ball out faster than ever. Brady will last as long as Welker in all likelihood, so that didn’t need to be brought up.

  49. ty46 says: Feb 2, 2013 2:58 PM

    Kraft is worried that Wes Welker wants to be the second Pats player, who isn’t underpaid.

  50. bartlettruss says: Feb 2, 2013 3:06 PM

    Poor Bob Kraft. Victim of other people’s greed.

  51. fanofevilempire says: Feb 2, 2013 3:25 PM

    if I had Krafts money I would suckin on the pink nipples of a young New Orleans socialite.

    some people don’t know what to do with money.

  52. war27 says: Feb 2, 2013 3:34 PM

    Tom Brady only looks better now because of the 8 yard pass.

    He can throw it 15 yards if Welker is open by 8 yards.

  53. mjl74 says: Feb 2, 2013 4:29 PM

    I want the pre-NBC Florio back. We (or at least I) know he’s 1/10 of what he used to be. Money and ballooned ego sure changes a guy…

  54. oldbyrd says: Feb 2, 2013 4:31 PM

    Slipping, just like his value

  55. gimmeabruschi says: Feb 7, 2013 11:04 AM

    Translation: I’m not going to tie up elite money for what will be a 35 year old receiver after a 3 year deal who has dropped the most important balls of his career. I didn’t create one of the elite franchises in the NFL by being stupid.

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