On Saturday, ATL's Marc Sessler wrote about how franchised New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker had shifted into "good soldier mode" last week, signing his $9.515 million tender, backtracking from comments he made about contract talks with the Patriots and stating his intention to report for the start of OTAs on Monday.
Welker had also sparred with former Patriots linebacker and current NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest on Twitter, with McGinest calling Welker out for his "diva" attitude. McGinest discussed the dust-up with Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald and indicated that it had been squashed.
"Iâm cool with Wes. I never had a problem with him in the beginning," said McGinest. "I was just trying to give him the blueprint of how things go down (in Foxboro). If youâre franchised, and you have a chance to make $9.5 million, grab it. Itâs more than half of your last contract. If they want to franchise you again next year, that number goes up. Thatâs $20 million in two years. Thatâs quarterback money."
There are no guarantees that the 31-year-old Welker will get the multiyear extension he's seeking, or that a 32-year-old Welker will receive a second franchise tag (estimated cost: $11.418 million) in 2013. Welker may eventually have to move on from New England, a path McGinest is familiar with.
"If they donât give you that contract ... I mean, thatâs why I left," McGinest said. "I didnât want to break the bank. I would have taken way less. But they didnât want to do that. I understood that. I didnât like it. I didnât want to leave. I wanted to retire there. So I had to do what was best for me and my family. I moved on and wound up with a pretty big deal for the last few years of my career. But I understood how the dynamics of the business worked when it came to that. Thatâs all I was trying to tell Wes: Look at the big picture."