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."