Would it be nice if, by 4 p.m. Monday, Wes Welker posted a cute little "Sticking around for the long-term, WOOT, WOOT! PatriotsNation" entry on Twitter.
Even though Welker was nicely compensated from 2007 through 2011 (18 million), he's been a relative NFL bargain compared to his wide receiver peers. A different kind of receiver than Calvin and Andre Johnson? Yes. But while not a game-breaker on their level, he is every bit the headache for defenses that they are.
He's played hurt, absorbed absurd levels of punishment, and returned quickly from serious injury. Great guy in the locker room, trusted friend and teammate of the best player the Patriots franchise will ever have, what's not to like?
Beyond all that, the Patriots -- when guaranteeing Welker his 9.5 million salary for 2012 -- pledged to work to give Welker what he believed he deserved. A long(er) term agreement.
The day the team franchised Welker, their statement was, "Wes Welker is a remarkable football player for our team and has been a vital component to our offense and special teams since we traded for him in 2007. Utilizing the franchise designation allows both sides more time to try to reach an agreement, which is the goal."Wes remains a contractual priority and we are hopeful that he will remain a Patriot for years to come."The extra time the two sides bought has been wasted. Sources have told me there have been no realistic proposals that approached the money Welker was looking for (a figure north of 20 million over the next two seasons).
The Patriots floated Welker a two-year, 16 million proposal last fall and haven't moved far from that.
And unless things change drastically from where they were Sunday afternoon, there will be no deal.
Welker could have been a pain in the ass about being franchised. He could have held out into training camp. Instead, he signed early and said on Twitter "I love the game and I love my teammates! Hopefully doing the right thing gets the right results. leapoffaith"
Have the Patriots "done the right thing"? Business-wise, probably.
If Welker plays well and stays healthy this year, they can just franchise him again next year and he'll get more than 11 million and will be paid for two franchised seasons about what he's looking for now.
And the Patriots will be off the hook if his leg falls off this year or his production falls off the table. Neither scenario is likely.
In terms of employee relations, the Patriots are hard-lining another deserving player, making him sweat and causing unnecessary agitation and mistrust.
To which they would likely say, "So?" The Patriots have taken PR hits before and been harangued for being cheap by bleeding heart media and fans. And they still come out smiling and hoisting trophies.
Welker's here for 2012. What's he gonna do, drape a "Patriots Unfair to Slot Receivers" sign around his neck and picket the sidelines?
The deadline will likely come and go, we'll ask Welker at training camp if he's upset he didn't get a long-term deal, he'll say he's moving on and so will we.
Personally, I feel it's the wrong thing to do. But on the grand scale of injustice we'll see on the planet today, it's less than a speck.