Jonathan Kraft: Wes Welker’s agent had unrealistic expectations

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Patriots president Jonathan Kraft says Wes Welker could have stayed in New England and made more money than he’s making in Denver, if his agent hadn’t pushed him to test the market.

Kraft said that before Welker hit free agency last year, the Patriots made Welker a good offer that Welker’s agent declined. And it was only when Welker wouldn’t play ball that the Patriots decided to turn their attention to Danny Amendola.

“We still offered Wes before free agency started, more than he ended up getting in the open market,” Kraft said, via the Boston Globe. “But once free agency started, we went out and signed Danny because he fit a construct that worked within our system, and we couldn’t take the risk of losing both Wes and Danny. So it really wasn’t as much about the money, it was about trying to do a deal with Wes before free agency started. His agent had a view of the world that we didn’t think was realistic.”

Welker is now heading into the second year of a two-year, $12 million contract with the Broncos, after making $9.5 million on the franchise tag in his final year in New England. Kraft said that if Welker had eschewed the franchise tender and accepted the deal the Patriots were offering him at the time, he would have made more money.

“We had actually offered Wes a deal the summer before that on a three-year basis would’ve left him in a financially better place than what he’s gonna end up having been in over those three years. But we were willing to do that at a certain time when his production was at a certain level, his age was at a certain level, and he was performing as a player. When we went another year into the process, we still in our head had a value that we were able to place on the player. The player and his agent thought that their value in the open market was going to be greater,” Kraft said.

Welker may have overestimated his value on the free market. But the Patriots also may have underestimated his value to them: Their passing game missed Welker last season.

95 responses to “Jonathan Kraft: Wes Welker’s agent had unrealistic expectations

  1. Here’s a thought, Kraft. Maybe it wasn’t about the money. Maybe he didn’t like playing for Belichick. He’s certainly alluded to that in past comments.

  2. Wes should say “It’s not all about money, I knew I’d have a better chance to get back to the Super Bowl with Denver, and for me I put winning first, so if you look at the score board in that last game against the Patriots I clearly made the right choice”

  3. “Their passing game missed Welker last season”

    meh…maybe, but they made it AFC Champ game without him…If Welker was with with Pats and not Broncs would they have beaten Broncos in that game?…I doubt it…Pats problem in that game was the Defense…AND they missed Gronk a lot more the Welker

  4. Welker is a great player. But the Patriots won 3 Superbowls without him, won none with him and continued winning without him. They won’t miss him that much.

  5. Not sure how much Welker was missed, Edelman stat wise had a better season than Welker.

    The Patriots passing game missed Gronk and Hernandez a hell of a lot more.

    Edelman = Welker
    Hoomanawanui << Hernandez
    Mulligan <<<<< Gronkowski

  6. Their deal was incentive based which is an insult to a player of Welker’s caliber. He probably wouldn’t have got more money because his stats weren’t typical Welker stats, although they would’ve been better in NE. Plus he had a better chance to win in Denver & he didn’t have to deal with Belichek & all the crap about the so called Patriot way. Easy decision.

  7. When you play for the Patriots and Belichik says “s..t” you say “Where when and what color?” That includes everyone from TB on down.

    If you don’t you go – Belichik is the most ruthless G.M. in the business, he and Welker didn’t get along, and IMO each was looking for a way to part company with the other.

    FYI – I am a Patriots’ fan.

  8. its crazy that anyone on these chat boards knock footballplayers for the monetary decisions they make.
    Sure, go team, but bottom line is football ends very quick. make your money now. Anyone whos says otherwise should take a “home team discount ” next time they are thinking of taking a promotion or switching jobs

  9. So now, Kraft looks more and more like a classless loser with nice clothes. And, maybe that tells you a little about why Welker left. Wow, and he was having so much fun when they won all the time.

  10. New England is obviously full of murderers: First Hernandez and now the Kraft’s killing Brady’s career by constantly surrounding him with wide receivers (with the exception of Moss) that are are mediocre to average.

    How many more SuperBowls did Kraft and BB arrogance cost Pat fans? One, two, three?

  11. I havent followed the Welker saga that close but I do know Welker felt dissappointed in the offer. Maybe the agent put a twist on it when presenting it to Welker but it seems the Pats really missed Welker as they keep bringing it up.

  12. Jonathon Kraft

    “But once free agency started, we went out and signed Danny because he fit a construct that worked within our system, and we couldn’t take the risk of losing both Wes and Danny. So it really wasn’t as much about the money, it was about trying to do a deal with Wes before free agency started.”

    When they say it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.

  13. I don’t trust anything from the pats organization. Its a shady organization.

  14. What is the point of Kraft talking about this now? For an owner who is supposed to be classy and run one of the best organizations in the NFL, it seems pretty classless to me to say this.

    How about next time you are negotiating with a player, make your last best offer in the media. Then you don’t have to gloat later about him taking less money than you would have offered.

    Just seems like a bunch of sour grapes to me.

  15. Watching the way Belichick has spoken about Welker, I’m pretty sure it was about much more than money. He obviously does not like Welker. Welker appears to be in a better environment for him.

  16. someone said:
    Anyone whos says otherwise should take a “home team discount ” next time they are thinking of taking a promotion or switching jobs

    Who said anything about a hometown discount?

    The pre-franchise offer the Pats offered was better than anything he received in FA. The deal he ended up signing in Denver was basically equal to the one the Pats offered him during free agency…and he received ZERO other offers from the other 30 teams.

    This is clearly a case of an agent incorrectly gauging the market for his client. Nothing more nothing less.

    I wonder if Welker gets all the endorsement deals in Denver that he got in Boston. I still him in commerically locally. In Denver he’s JAG, but in Boston he is loved. How about the endorsement money? He must’ve some on the table.

    Bottom line is this is how the NFL works. Seems Welker and my Pats had a bad breakup. Move on…both of you. You both seem fine without the other.

  17. I believe the contract Jon is referring to was made the summer before when they tagged him. Those details have never been public. At least not that I’ve seen anywhere. So to say it was an incentive laden contract or about how much it was for is inaccurate. Wes did not want to stay in NE and that’s fine. He essentially had the same outcome in Denver that he would have had in NE. Even with Gronk and Vince and mayo I don’t think we would have beat Seattle either. As far as the pats missing Wes. Edelman all but matched his production. We missed

  18. Sounds like the agent got greedy (shocking) and got burned. I wish more players would pay attention to this. It doesn’t always turn out the way the agent says.

  19. Welder or not, the best managed football team in NFL history resides in Foxboro, MA. They’re set up to win for another 3-4 years with Brady and the second youngest team in the NFL. We in New England are spoiled with their success, I mean 12-4 making it to AFC championship game were pretty disappointed. The bengals and redskins would be throwing a parade. Ditto for another 24 teams or so in the league. Welker decision was business at the end and so be it. Hernandez and gronkowski were bigger losses by far. Restock and reload and return to SB in 2014-2015

  20. Of course Brady would have loved to have Welker to throw to last year – though Edelman did a fine job.

    Welker wasn’t the difference maker for the Patriots last season.

    They had an INCREDIBLE number of injuries – and still finished 12-4.

    Add a health Gronkowski even on that long list of injuries and they beat Denver – and maybe actually would have given Seattle a run for their money (props to the Seahawks – they were pretty dominant)

  21. It is clear that Welker is a great regular season WR. But two things, he drops passes at critical times in the post season. Secondly, When he became franchised I believe the Pats thought it would be a way to sign a long term less costly yearly contract. The buzz in New England is he took the franchise money and the Pats were not happy he didn’t negotiate that year. He was a great player here and was missed.

  22. Welker, like many players…received some bad info/advice from his agent.

    He may have been borderline HOF had he stayed in NE, and that alone worth a lot of $$$ in retirement.

    Scary thing about Welker…is he does FAIL @ some big moments in big games, worst being the drop [ of a ball he catches 99% of the time] vs. the Giants…maybe a coincidence, but a fact. Regular season, he is money.

    Patriots did ok w/o him. Edelman actually was more productive overall [ returns as good as it gets].

    NE is a much better franchise than Denver. One of the NFL’s biggies. Do not think you’ll see Denver match their overall success.

  23. I think the Krafts and the Pats should try and keep quiet about Wes Welker. They screwed the pooch to a certain extent and now have a player not worth the money (all of us keyboard GMs saw this coming) in Danny Amendola. The constant whining about how we offered Welker more is tiresome and comes off really poorly. Be quiet already.

    I don’t think Welker would have made too much of a difference in the AFC Championship game either. Some of the regular season wins may have come easier, but come the post season…we would have been smoked either way. (recurring theme)

  24. Sometimes, a player and a coach just rub each other the wrong way. Phil Simms and Bill Parcells hated each other, but they respected each other enough to put aside their differences for the good of the team.

    Seems like Welker and Belichick had the same kind of relationship. Unfortunately, it seems that both got to the point where they didn’t want to continue the relationship.

    How refreshing would it have been if both Welker and the Pats just came out and said that’s what happened? Instead, they both tried to play the PR game, making it seem like the other party was responsible for what happened. Considering Kraft’s recent comments, it seems like the Pats are still trying to win the PR game.

  25. Kraft saying Danny Amendola and Welker are interchangeable pieces is a joke. Danny was a bust last year and this year he is only older and more fragile.

  26. “Their passing game missed Welker last season”

    meh…maybe, but they made it AFC Champ game without him…If Welker was with with Pats and not Broncs would they have beaten Broncos in that game?…I doubt it…Pats problem in that game was the Defense…AND they missed Gronk a lot more the Welker<<

    Patriots passing game/offense struggled a great deal at times last season especially the 1st half. WITH Welker they win one more game and host the Broncos. Big difference.

    BTW the Patriots will let Edelman go this season.

    This is the nonsense Tom Brady has to deal with every season and it's why he's the best ever. Just look at the numbers this guy puts up while forced to deal with a constant turnover of players on offense.

  27. It’s always about the money in NE. Why else would they keep their stadium in Foxboro with 1 road in & 1 road out? Oh yeah, because then he could build Patriot Place. Although that decision may bite them in the ass now that the NFL is considering cold weather cities for Super Bowls.

  28. For those who really follow the Patriots, this comes as no surprise. Welker’s agent totally screwed this up. The Patriots were going to end up with either Welker or Amendola. They weren’t willing to play games with the agent and get left empty handed. It worked out well for the Pats. Amendola will still be playing for them when Welker is out of the game for health reasons.

  29. Kraft isn’t saying that it was or wasn’t about the money. He his just pointing out facts – walker would have made more in NE.

    Walker is now in a worse off situation in denver. It will take 10 years for the broncos to recover from the last Super Bowl loss. By then peyton will be long gone.

  30. The passing game did remarkably well without welker. Brady makes the team good, not the slot receiver. That’s why Brady gets 15-20mil a season and welker got 6. The value is in the qb that makes his wr’s and TE’s better

  31. I disagree with the comments the Broncos had a better chance of winning the Super Bowl at the time Welker was a free agent. As it played out they may have had a better chance due to Pats injuries and poor offensive line play, but no one could have predicted that. A year ago I would have given the Pats equal chance. No one knew Manning would have the season he did.

  32. Because of the terrible damages playing in the NFL does to someone’s body and mind every players should grab as much guaranteed money as soon as they can. Period.

    If you do not produce teams do not hesitate to cut you. Might as well be as ruthless and selfish back because it is your life and body.

  33. Who cares- Patriots will be in decline now- best days are past. Of the three Superbowls that they supposedly won, only one was without cheating and referee help. They are done- haha

  34. Edelman going from 18 catches in ’12 to 106 in ’13 tells you how much they really missed him. Maybe NE offered 3/21 or 3/24 prior to Welker’s free agency, either way he misread his value on the market. It’s not as if Denver gave him a lot more money or more years.

  35. A lot of people refuse to believe it but it’s true. If Welker had taken the original deal 2 years ago he’d still be a Patriot and making more money than he is with Denver. His agent screwed him.

  36. Oh my god, why is this being brought up now. Just let it go. The Krafts should just concentrate on this year and don’t let Talib or Edelman leave. Just be smart with the money and get good players in here. Not the 2nd round busts like Tavon Wilson and jermaine Cunningham. I go to the Pats games, but am tired of this stuff.

  37. Joke away, haters. No Hernandez, No Welker, No Wilfork, no Mayo, no Gronk, and the Pats STILL made the AFCC. What’s your team’s excuse?

  38. If ifs were ifs and buts were buts . . . both sides moved on and did just fine. Personally, from a career standpoint, I think Welker made a mistake unless he wins a Super Bowl in Denver. Welker had a chance to be forever linked to Brady in the hearts and minds of New England and NFL fans. He would have been a sure bet for the Patriots Hall of Fame, quite possibly the NFL Hall of Fame, and would have been a staple in the media and endorsement arena during his post-career life. Bruschi took less money and spent his whole career in New England. Wes should have asked Teddy if cutting a deal to stay was worth it.

  39. The Pats are notoriously cheap when it comes to resigning most of their players, even good ones, so I think Kraft is FOS. Welker had a great thing going in NE but clearly had some problems with the money he was being offered, and maybe too with the coach. The Pats were embarrassed to lose him–that’s why Kraft is engaged in PR spin.

  40. vaphinfail calling the Pats a shady organization ? The Phins are the most embarrassing and dysfunctional franchise in the NFL. The Bills are about to see your team in the rear view mirror.

  41. The Pats have the easiest schedule year after year.
    And if you notice…80-90% of the time they play the tougher teams at home.
    This was probably worked out with the league office during spygate.
    Kraft told them “Fine…we’ll take the fines and loss of draft picks but you gotta make the schedule in our favor to help us get back to the SB to prove we can win without cheating “

  42. Guys, this statement was made by Jonathan Kraft, not Bob Kraft. Bob owns the team, Jonathan is his son.

    Brady and his wife are not just building mansions in the likes of Brentwood, they are building one close to Bob Kraft’s home in Brookline, MA. I wonder if Bob cut the below-market contract deal with Brady with the idea that he would be given a chance to buy into ownership once his playing days are up. It would be an excellent way for Kraft to keep the team in the family while getting some cash to pay the tax man when the team transfers at his death, and bring in sound minority business investors (Brady and his wife) that bring cache locally, nationally, and internationally. If he did, it is a smart move. (What a cheater, ha, ha, ha).

  43. “Ten years and counting.”

    Coming from a Jets fan this is hilarious.

    45 years and counting. The Jets haven’t done anything since the moon landing!

  44. This is why I hate the Pats and their fan base…they get so butt hurt when things don’t go the “Patriot Way”.

    Grow Up You Bunch of Baby’s!

  45. I think Pats and Broncos fans are over Wes Welker right about now. 3 Super Bowls, 3 record-setting offenses, 13 ppg scored, 3 losses.

  46. Funny how dolphin and jet fans comment on dysfunction and years not winning super bowls. There are also comments about letting go of the subject of Welker because it was last year, but the filming of the sideline from an illegal location never gets old. Those loser fans have to come up with some reason why the Pats have 13 straight winning seasons, the best record over the last 20 years and the greatest coach and quarterback in the history of the NFL.

  47. No. It’s always about the money. Welker thought he could go out and sign a huge deal. He would have signed with the Browns if they offered the money he thought he was going to get. Both sides would have been better off if he stayed with the Patriots.

  48. New England did pretty well without him,and he didnt have the chance to drop ANOTHER catch that would have won them a div championship,or a super bowl. He really wasnt effective for Denver either.

  49. Wes Welker now 0-3 in Super Bowls and about to be a cap casualty or have to accept a much smaller restructure… oh, and his next concussion might kill him. Seriously, did you see those pre Super Bowl interviews, he can barely string 2 sentences together. The Pats made the right call on him at that point in his career. He’s toast…

  50. The whole “your newly signed TE just might be a serial killer and your other newly signed TE is now injury prone” story was much more detrimental to New England than Welker’s departure

  51. “Their passing game missed Welker last season”

    No. Edelman filled in even better than Welker, with better punt returns too. Their passing game missed Gronkowski.

  52. Just like GM’s and coaches miss on draft picks….. Agents miss on contracts…. Its part of the game…. People have to realize that, its not always a square into a square hole.

  53. Jonathan Kraft is so full of it. Just like his daddy. He’s just trying to feebly pull off some lame media spin. I still laugh when I think of Putin stealing his ring. He’s more deserving of it anyways…LOL

  54. They didn’t mess Welker at all. Edelman basically gave them enough production as a slot receiver. Losing Gronk is what hurt them the most. Those seam throws from Brady was nonexistent and their redzone offense was mediocre at best.

    Honestly, if Gronk plays all 16 games…..I don’t think the media would be talking about Welker’s departure much.

  55. Only someone without any class, like Robert Kraft, would continue to air his dirty laundry in the public media. You don’t see Wes Welker making these kind of public statements about his private contract negotiations. Kraft did the same thing with Bill Parcells. Even the equally classless Mrs Kraft had the temerity to publicly criticize Bill Parcells. But you never heard Bill Parcells publicly criticizing Kraft or the Patriots in the media.

    If Kraft didn’t care much about Wes Welker, why does he keep publically bringing it up? Making excuses?

  56. Matter of semantics… ESPN article from last year said NE’s offer was 2 yr/$10M with incentives that might have made it up to $16M. Denver offer was $12M for 2yr. Also that NE offer was take it or leave it… no room for negotiations. Either way, Wes has moved on, and so should the Krafts. There are bigger issues with NE than Welker’s departure.

  57. Belichick not liking Welker had alot to do with the Rex Ryan saga and the fact that Rex was an easy target when the Foot-Fetish-Gate hit the grid and Welker took full advantage piling on in an interview.

    Love him or hate him, Belichick not starting Welker in the next game( maybe a playoff game, can’t remember) spoke many volumes about what Belichick thought of Wes’ interview performance.

    Belichick respects other coaches far more than players, apparently, and I think it royally pissed him off that Welker did that…I’m sure he looked at it like a school boy prank that one of his own players pulled on one of his colleagues, which, to a guy like Belichick was WAY over the line and reflected incredibly poorly on the Pats organization and Belichick himself.

  58. Pats fans, its over. Brady on downside and once he retires the pats will be done, Belichoke will show the world how he coached in Cleveland without Brady

  59. The year Welker played for the tag, the Patriots offered him something like three years and 25.5 million. Thats more than 8 per annum. He played instead for the tag looking for more dough. After that season they offered him much less and then Denver took him on the cheap. For those who think they played Wes, look up the contract offer before he agreed to pay for the tag. I think he thought he was worth more than he was. Apparently the market agreed with that sentiment.

  60. I laugh in the face of jealousy when people say the patriots have not won since “cheating”. First of all they did not do anything that other teams didnt do. You are blowing Spygate out of proportion because they keep winning games. Only one out of 32 teams can win the Superbowl.
    Spygate had nothing to do with
    2005 Patriots defense sleeps in second half of game with Indy and gift-wrapped Manning win instead of getting super bowl #4

    2007 David Tyree miracle catch and Asante Samuel dropping an easy interception keeping New England out of a perfect season

    2011 Patriots Defense again letting Manning get them and Brady airmailing a throw to avoid a sack (safety) and Welker dropping a catchable ball that probably would have put the superbowl away.

    Take that

  61. The greater question here is why did the donkeys sign Welker.

    Certainly the receiver position was not a pressing need compared to other areas.

    Could it be that, as with the Colts, Manning had to have awesome offensive weapons so he could roll up stats and an MVP?

    Sure it could.

  62. We said this…his agent wanted that…he could have done this…but we had to do that. Forget it….move on.

  63. Pats fans want to make a comparison between Welker and Edelman when the actual comparison should be between Welker and Amendola. Clearly the Pats made the wrong decision.

  64. Why is Kraft still whining and pouting 2 years after the fact ? Never mind the agent, if you wanted Welker you should have offered him more than the 5 mil you did.The crybabies of the NFL,with the golden boy QB that no one can touch.How’d Hernandez work out for ya ?

  65. The Krafts have become too greedy in managing the Patriots. They have shown they no longer reward loyalty to the team in players like Logan Mankins, Vince Wilfork, and others who have given many years of Pro Bowl-caliber play to the team. Kraft doesn’t give them fair market value on the contracts to keep them with the team. He tries to screw them into the floor like you would a lousy worker. This is disloyal to your best players, and unworthy of the better owners in the NFL. The players deserve better. Kraft knows better. You run an organization so your best people love it. You run your lousy workers out of town. You don’t get cheap with best players, and turn them against the team they have been loyal to all these years. Shame on you, Kraft.

  66. Way I understand was less guaranteed & more$$ down the line. I guess mr kraft is the only who does not know where that ends up for a player

  67. Ok so if you watched the first episode of “It’s a Football Life”, you’ll remember Brady and Belichick on the sideline discussing the dump pass to Welker in which Belichick seemed to have quite the disdain for. Also later in the same episode he kind of takes a shot at Welker on the sideline, while both observed Amendola on a kick return and Belichick marveled at Amendola’s heart. Then turns and says something to Welker about it. In which Welker responded “hey man he can have the job”. Belichick in his ignorant fashion says, “way to compete”, as a dig toward Welker in which Welker was like whatever. So Belichick had an issue with Welker from what it looked like to me.

    Then during the Championship game Belichick belly ached at a clean hit Welker made on Aqib Talib. Sounds like a sore loser to me and the almighty coach is starting to give way to the very thing he was talked up for having. Tact, keep it in house teaching of the NE way. But it looked like things were starting to unravel. This is what bothers me the most though. I respect Mr. Kraft and what he has done in NE. As I am from a storied football town in Pittsburgh and the Rooneys are very respected as they should be. But to have the owner come out with this somewhat mental breakdown of reverse what it’s and buts. What else can you look at it as. Just be the men people give you the respect for and just say it already. WE MADE A MISTAKE LETTAiNG WELKER GO. Instead it looks like the Empire is crumbling from the inside out with excuses from the coach to the owner. Gronk’s injuries, and all other injuries to the receiving core led to the loss at the end of the season. Please stop..! Because as a lover of football and yes being a Steeler fan I still love the Patriots for being what you guys have been and done in the last decade. Move on and continue being Treat with no excuses.

  68. The patriots have yet to win a super bowl since they were caught cheating. Once Brady can no longer play. the pats become the cleveland browns.

  69. Decker is over rated. The Broncos can lose him and replace him with a journeyman.

  70. I love all the whining from people who clearly can’t read at even a 3rd grade level ndchose to interpret “Jonathan Kraft” as Robert Kraft” and “he is whining about it” instead of “a Boston reporter asked him about that situation explicitly”. It really makes me question my favorite team’s decisions when people of that intellectual caliber question them.

    WW is still a good player but he now has a QB who throws him into concussions. That alone should have made him stay in NE.

    People who say Amendola was the Welker replacement just because of their juxtaposition in the article are a bit off base. Edelman was the real Welker replacement. Since he had never made it a whole season being healthy, they had to make sure they had another guy who could fill that role as well as add an outside presence ( which Amendola could, he’s not “just” a slot guy). It was a good idea because though Edelman made it through the year healthy and was very productive, Amendola’s groin hindered him all year. I’d like to see them keep DA at least through training camp to see what he looks like. He and TB looked very good together when DA was healthy.

  71. Jonathan Kraft: Wes Welker’s agent had unrealistic expectations – Smith

    The only good thing that came out of Denver signing Wes Welker was that it got him off the Patriot’s roster. In terms of his contribution to Denver’s success, it was a failure for the Broncos. Add to that Welker’s tremendous concussion liability and he was undoubtedly one of the worst FA deals in recent memory. Now, Welker will be allowed to remain a Bronco, while more productive Broncos with far less downside, like Eric Decker, will be forced into Free Agency. How ironic would it be if the Patriots signed Decker and later used him to eliminate the Broncos from post-season play?

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