PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 27: (L-R) Tom Brady #12 and Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots celebrate after Welker caught a 9-yard touchdown reception from Brady in the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
When this offseason kicked off, one of the biggest issues we thought the New England Patriots would address by Training Camp was to give star wide receiver Wes Welker a contract extension. Now we sit in mid-May, just weeks away from the start of team minicamps, and he's still without an extension.
The Patriots placed their franchise tag on Welker back in March, but he's yet to sign the tender, as he continues to hold out for a new deal. Welker told ESPN earlier this offseason that he was "probably not going to attend" the team's first full team minicamp, which starts on June 12.
In speaking with WEEI on Monday, Welker had a different attitude about things, saying he had "$9.5 million reasons to attend" the minicamp. He elaborated on the state of his holdout:
"I think we're all on the same page and we're all trying to collectively come together and make something happen."
"I think we're still kind of waiting, but I'd really like to be there," Welker told hosts Mike Mutnansky and Lou Merloni. "I don't know. To say I'm going one way or another right now, I'm not going to say it's definite or anything like that, but I would definitely like to be at those minicamps for sure."
BRADY WILL PLAY 'UNTIL THEY DON'T WANT ME'
There's no denying that Tom Brady has proved tremendous value to the Patriots organization. He brought three Super Bowls (and hopefully more) to New England, and has established himself as the greatest quarterback in team history, and one of the best all time. However, all good things must come to an end.
The reality of the situation is that Brady will begin to show decline, and will ultimately have to retire from the game of football. But Tom Brady isn't a big believer in decline. At age 34, he through for a career high 5,235 passing yards and 39 touchdowns. In speaking with SI.com's Peter King, Brady says he'll continuing playing "until they don't want" him.
"My wife [Gisele Bundchen] said to me, 'When I met you [in 2006], you said you wanted to play 10 more years. How come that number never goes down?' It's that I love the game. I love the game. I'm going to play until they tell me they don't want me anymore.''
"I just met with coach Belichick this morning,'' Brady said. "I still feel like I'm in my first year trying to prove myself. There's no entitlement around coach Belichick. I've got to be the best guy for him to keep playing me. When I'm not, someone else will play.''
OCHOCINCO BACKS 'DAD' GOODELL
The movement for more safety in the game of football took a huge blow a few weeks ago, as former linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide, with the suspected cause of suicidal thoughts being due to post-concussion symptoms. New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has taken notice.
Even though he's received numerous amounts of fines for his on the field celebrations from the NFL commissioner, Ochcocinco and and Roger Goodell have maintained a close relationship. A father-son like relationship, to be specific. Over the weekend, Ochocinco took to his website to address the concern of player safety, but writing an open letter to Goodell, whom he addresses as "Dad".
I know it has been a rough week, so I wanted to reach out. Players dying, players suing and on top of that my peers are just going off on you in the media. It does not help that ESPN has all of a sudden become Medical TV with damn near every brain expert on the planet. This has got to be the worst week ever. Since no one is showing any support, I figured I would be the first. You are in one big ass catch 22 and quite frankly, I am not sure there is any solution. One thing I think can help is killing the NFL PR machine.
Y'all do a darn near perfect job at portraying this game as one played by heroes.
But let's be real dad. This is a nasty, dirty and violent game with consequences. Sign up or go get a regular job. Watch it or turn off the TV and go fishing with your kids. It is really that simple. I know there are probably legal and financial implications that prevent this blunt depiction, but am not sure if you have a choice. If you don't say it now, the mounting evidence being revealed publicly will say it for you very soon. In all, I love you and if anyone can lead us out of this mess, it will be you. Oh by the way, I have a deal for you. Am having a rebound year and plan to do a lot of celebrating in the end zone. Can my fine money go to supporting ex-players suffering?