New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and agent David Dunn paint very different pictures of the Wes Welker negotiations.
Kraft claimed Dunn "way overvalued" Welker's worth, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported on Monday, when Kraft met with a group of reporters at the NFL Annual Meeting. Dunn told Comcast SportsNet New England's Tom Curran that the Patriotsnever made an offer. ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss had reported the Patriots made a final offer of two years at $10 million that might have increased to $16 million with incentives.
Kraft said Welker was the Patriots' "first choice" and that free-agent wide receiver Danny Amendola was the "alternative." Dunn claimed signing Amendola was the plan all along.
Kraft told reporters the Welker offer would have included $8 million in the first year and the Denver deal essentially is a one-year contract. NFL.com's Albert Breer reported the Denver Broncos deal was two years at $12 million. Reiss, who has covered the Patriots since 1997, said he's never seen the Patriots give such intricate details of a contract negotiation.
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That's a whole lot of he-said, he-said, but it's hard to believe the Patriots didn't make any offer with all the numbers and scenarios that have surfaced. At the same time, it's virtually impossible to know exactly what happened without a paper trail. I wouldn't want to be a Dunn client with aspirations of signing with the Patriots.
Note: Some expected Tom Brady to be outraged with losing his favorite target and good friend. Brady restructured his deal, in part, to give the organization cap relief. That space, obviously, wasn't used on Welker.
All right, then.
UPDATE: Dunn's Athletes First released a statement to NFL.com's Albert Breer in response to Kraft's comments.