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Patriots' Wes Welker backtracks from contract talks

Wes Welker has shifted into good-soldier mode, telling reporters he will report for organized team activities with the New England Patriots on Monday.

The wide receiver met with the media on Saturday at his football clinic in Peabody, Mass., and it didn't take long for questions about his contract to bubble up.

Welker said he regretted describing contract dealings with the team as taking a turn for the worse.

"That was probably a bad choice of words saying they've gotten worse. They've stayed the same," Welker told The Boston Globe. "... I'm franchised for the year and I'm completely happy with that and completely OK with it. I look forward to contributing to the team."

(Now we're talking like a good little Patriot again.)

Welker acknowledged he signed his franchise tender with hopes of landing a long-term deal with the team. He called it a "leap of faith" on Saturday.

Welker is not surprised by how negotiations have progressed with the team. As valuable as he is to New England's offense, the receiver understands he's dealing with an organization that won't bend to meet the demands of its players, no matter their place on the roster. A long-term deal might eventually materialize, but Bill Belichick won't be held hostage in the process.

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