PEABODY -- What more does Wes Welker have to do to earn a long-term deal?
He has led the NFL in receptions in three of the last five seasons (2007, 2009, 2011) and helped the Patriots to two Super Bowls. He has made four Pro Bowls and he's a two-time First Team All-Pro (2009, 2011).
In the eyes of many, he's done his job and should be compensated with the security of a multi-year contract.
But Welker wouldn't admit he feels the same way today while speaking to the media during his youth football clinic at Bishop Fenwick High School. He took a different approach: He doesn't have a long-term contract yet so he needs to go out and show that he's deserving. He needs to go out and earn it.
"You earn it every day," he said. "That's how you become great is go out there and earn it every single day in the way you lift and train, and the way you carry yourself, and the way you go out there and play. So, you know, it's just something you make a habit and you do on a consistent basis."
If he does that, the thinking is that he'll get what he wants.
"My outlook on it is go out there, play the game as hard as I can, play the game that I love to play and let everything else take care of itself," Welker said. "That needs to be my outlook on things. Know I'm playing on a great team and in some way trying to contribute to that team."
But what if a long-term deal with that team never materializes? Has he ever thought that this might be his final season in New England?
"I don't foresee that happening," he said. "I just take it one day at a time and try to be ready."
Jeff Howe joins Sports Tonight to explain why he agrees with Mike Felger that Bill Belichick mismanaged the QB snaps vs the Panthers.
Our Sports Tonight crew debates whether they agree with Colin Kaepernick's protest, and if his job should be in jeopardy because of his actions.
The Patriots announced three roster moves on Monday night. Two resulted in players parting ways with the team. The other opened a roster spot without a departure.
In addition to releasing both defensive tackle Terrance Knighton and center Bryan Stork, the Patriots also placed guard Tre' Jackson on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.
Jackson began training camp on PUP, and he has not practiced with the team since camp kicked off. Now that he is on the reserve/PUP, the second-year player out of Florida State will be forced to miss the first six weeks of the regular season, but he will not count against the active roster during that period.
Jackson, a fourth-round pick last year, played through knee issues at times as a rookie, seeing action in 13 games and starting in nine. He has been spotted on the practice fields this summer, but he has been limited to warm-ups and conditioning work.
In his absence, the Patriots still have depth at guard, which may have had something to do with the team's willingness to make Jackson unavailable for almost the first half of the season. Rookie Joe Thuney looks like he will be the starter at left guard, while Josh Kline could be the option at right guard to start the season. Jonathan Cooper and Shaq Mason are dealing with injuries at the moment, but they both returned to the practice field on Monday, and they also have a shot at the right guard job. Rookie sixth-rounder Ted Karras could also factor in as a reserve at either guard or center if he makes the club.
The Patriots currently have 80 players on the active roster and need to reduce that number to 75 by 4 p.m. on Tuesday.