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.