It would appear that some of the friction between Wes Welker and the New England Patriots over long-term contract discussions would calm down just slightly after Welker gave into the team's request and signed his one-year franchise tender. Not in the slightest.
According to reports close to the team, the Patriots have become somewhat ill with Welker because he's become so public about their contract negotiations. We all know what can happen to players who the Patriots become upset with. Those players are called former Patriots.
On Tuesday, team owner Robert Kraft denied these reports, calling Welker a "special guy". However in an interview with ESPN's Adam Schefter at the NFL Meetings in Atlanta, he maintained that it takes two to tango in order to agree to a long-term deal:
"We'd like him to be a Patriot for life," Kraft told Schefter from the NFL meetings in Atlanta. "To do that requires both sides to bend and do what they have to do. We understand the cap and how much room we have there and how we value the position. He has people representing him that want to get the last dollar. I would love him to finish his career with us, but it takes two sides to get that done."
"Anyone can say whatever they want," Kraft told Jones. "He's done a great job for us, we're always trying to do whatever we can do to put our team in the best position to win, 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."
MESKO NOT BOTHERED BY NEW PADS
At the owners meetings in Atlanta, the NFL decided that all players will wear thigh and knee pads beginning next season. This new policy will effect only a small amount of players, particularly kickers and punters.
New England Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko was asked about the rule change on ESPN Boston Radio today. While Mesko has never worn thigh or knee pads in his two-year pro career, he's no stranger to them. He wore them in his four years at the University of Michigan, and he's okay with the new change.
"They don't bother me. I haven't worn them the past two seasons, but it's not something that's going to restrict me in any way," he said. "It is what it is. I'm sure guys will adapt to it. It may take you a week of wearing them to get used to it. But I don't view it as a big change. But if it's for the safety of the players, I'm all for it."
BRADY SENIOR WORRIES OFTEN ABOUT SAFETY OF SON
These past few months, our sport went to hell and back with the sudden sucide of former linebacker Junior Seau. While there could be other reasons, signs seem to point in the direction of head trauma being a factor in Seau's decision to take his own life. Many people around the league have begun to second guess the current safety problem.
One football parent who feels a little uneasy about the current state of player safety is Tom Brady Sr., the father of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. As a kid, Brady was not allowed to play the game of football until he was 14 years old. Even though his son has never had a documented concussion while playing in the league, Brady Sr. is still worried about the possible effects of head trauma would do to his son later in life.
"That never goes away. The answer is yes, I'm concerned. He claims that he's only been dinged once or twice, but I don't know how forthright he's being," Brady Sr. said. "He's not going to tell us, as his parents, anything negative that's going on. I wouldn't be shocked that he would hide that."