When the New England Patriots agreed to a six-year, $54 million dollar extension with tight end Rob Gronkowski, you would certainly expect at least mixed reactions from some of fellow teammates.
To name a few, wide receiver Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez. Welker, who is under contract in New England for just one more season, has battled the Patriots all offseason over his contract situation. He's wanted a long-term deal with significant financial back load, but the Patriots didn't bite.
Hernandez, who is a compliment to Gronkowski in the team's tight end corps, has been just as productive in terms of being a redzone threat. But next season, Gronkowski will be earning $12 million guaranteed in his deal while Hernandez is still stuck in his rookie contract.
So there is obviously tension in the Patriots locker room over the illustrious contract extension, right? Well, it didn't seem that way on Tuesday, when Welker and Hernandez spoke with the Boston media.
Instead of disappointment and jealousy, Welker is actually quite happy for his 23-year old teammate. In fact, he says he's not even concerned about his contract at this point in time.
"No, not at all," Welker said when asked if he was upset by Gronkowski getting a new deal. "I'm always pulling for the players. Especially a guy like Gronk, who does such a great job for us and works hard and deserves every bit of that contract."
"I'm not worried about that at all," Welker said. "Right now I'm here, I'm happy. I'm just here and try to help our team win in 2012."
When asked the same question, Hernandez almost echoed Welker, as he expressed his uppermost respect and happiness for Gronkowski, but he's not closing the door on a long-term deal of his own:
"Well I don't know who could be mad about that," Hernandez said with a smile. "I'm happy for him. He deserves it."
Hernandez was asked if he is looking for a long-term deal himself.
"Yeah, but I'll leave that up to my agents," Hernandez said. "And that's that."