The New England Patriots ended their relationship with wide receiver Wes Welker on a sour note, but the separation might be uglier than we thought.
Welker joined 98.5 The Sports Hub to chat with the Boston radio station and to discuss his future. While Welker hasn’t ruled out a return to the NFL, he’s also open to coaching. He also hasn’t spoken with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick since he left the franchise in the 2013 offseason.
Wes Welker also told us that he hasn't spoken to Bill Belichick since he was a Patriot.— Toucher and Rich (@Toucherandrich) July 12, 2016
Welker left to join Peyton Manning and the Broncos for 2013 and 2014 in part because of his issues with Belichick and his style of discipline. Welker said that the relationship deteriorated at the end of his time in New England.
The two have had very little interaction on the field, beyond a laughable handshake after the 2013 AFC Championship game, and it seems as if the two aren’t close to a reconciliation.
This wouldn’t be the first time Belichick gave a player the cold shoulder, though. In one of the best Belichick pieces written, former Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma shared his favorite Belichick story.
“Vilma and [D.J. Williams] were both off the board when Belichick and the Patriots selected, but New England did select another Miami teammate, Vince Wilfork. Vilma went to the Jets where he won defensive rookie of the year. But when they played the Patriots, he noticed that Belichick never said a word to him. They would cross paths – Vilma would go talk with Wilfork – but he never said a word.
In 2009, Vilma was a Pro Bowler with New Orleans and they played the Patriots, and he had a spectactular game. One more time, after the game, he saw Wilfork next to Belichick. The coach did not say a word to him.
The next year, at training camp, the Saints and Patriots had a practice. Vilma was warming up and, suddenly – “out of nowhere,” in Vilma’s memory – Belichick just appears behind him.
“I’m glad you’re out of my division,” Belichick said, without any words of introduction.
So perhaps Belichick needs a little more time, or maybe Welker just needs to officially retire before the relationship reboots.
If anything, perhaps it will stop Welker from saying weird things that I can’t understand.
Welker on Edelman's admiration for Brady: "A little too obvious. Like going, getting Advil, there's Walgreens prescription." @Toucherandrich— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) July 12, 2016