After Wes Welker was slapped with the franchise tag in early March, it was clear that he planned to negotiate a long-term deal with the Patriots.
"Glad that I will be a Patriot in 2012 and hopefully 13,14,15,16,17,18," Welker tweeted at the time.
Nothing long-term came down right away, but Welker continued to say all the right things in interviews, hoping something could be worked out.
"I mean, it's a lot of money," he said earlier this month of the 9.5 million he would be paid under the franchise tag.
"How can you ever be upset about that? It's not a bad deal, so I'm not too worried about it."
But here we are, almost two months after he was tagged, and nothing has changed. Welker hasn't signed his tender, and no progress has been made toward a long-term deal.
Now the All-Pro wideout appears to be in a holding pattern. With no new deal, he told ESPN Boston Radio that he probably will not attend the team's mandatory minicamp in June.
"I'm thinking I'm probably not going to, but things could change," he said.
If Welker's still not under contract by the time minicamp rolls around, it obviously isn't "mandatory" for him; he won't officially be on the roster.
But his absence would make a statement.
"It's really not a route I thought I'd ever take because it's not me," he told ESPN. "I feel like it's just kind of been the spot I've been put in."
Welker joined SportsCenter on Tuesday and said that "negotiations have kind of stopped at the franchise tender, and we havent really spoken since then."
He understands why. With the draft coming up, Welker knows that Bill Belichick is focused on other things.
"Im sure with the draft and everything else, theres a lot of other things that kind of take place," Welker said. "And you know how coach Belichick works . . . right now hes in draft mode. And Im sure after the draft, you know, hopefully were able to come together and hopefully figure something out."