from CBS Local
BOSTON (CBS) — Wes Welker loves being a Patriot. The Patriots love Wes Welker. In a perfect world, the player and the team would be tied together forever, but in the real world, salary caps and contracts make such a union much more difficult.
Welker said his peace last week, and now owner Robert Kraft got his chance with NFL Network.
“We’d like to see him be a Patriot for life, but it takes two sides,” Kraft told Kim Jones on Tuesday in Atlanta.
Those two sides currently aren’t seeing
eye-to-eye when it comes to agreeing on a long-term contract, with Welker saying last week that negotiations have “gotten worse.” Though he later backed off on those comments, his revelation that the two-year, $16 million deal that was originally offered was now pulled off the table was a good indication that the player and the team are miles apart in negotiations.
As it is now though, Welker has signed his franchise tender, meaning he’ll play for the Patriots this season. That’s enough to make Kraft happy — for now.
“We’re just happy he’s back in the system,” Kraft told NFL Network. “He’s a wonderful young man, and a special guy. I think both sides would like to do a deal, but it requires intelligence and putting our team first.”
Kraft explained that despite all of the great things Welker’s done on the field, it’s not as simple as throwing briefcases full of cash at the receiver.
“We’re always trying to do whatever we can do to put our team in the best position to win,” Kraft said. “That means balancing a lot of things, understanding what the cap is, what the cap growth is, how things fit in the system and we try to have values for every position and every player.”