Welker: 'Probably not going' to minicamp


Welker: 'Probably not going' to minicamp

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."

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 


The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability. 

McDaniels: 'Best for my family and myself' to remain with Patriots

McDaniels: 'Best for my family and myself' to remain with Patriots

Josh McDaniels will be staying put in New England, he said on Monday, because that's what's best for him and his family at this point in time. 


The Patriots offensive coordinator was a front-runner for the open head-coaching job in San Francisco but has removed his name from consideration.

"I was really impressed with [Niners owner and CEO] Jed York and [Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of Football Operations] Praag [Marathe] and [Director of Football Administration and Analytics] Brian [Hampton] and the people that came from the 49ers organization. They did a great job with their presentation. Again, humbled to be included in that process.

"At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

Next season will be McDaniels' sixth full season back with the Patriots since returning during the playoffs of the 2011 season.

"I've always said how grateful I am to have this opportunity to work here with Mr. Kraft and his family, and coach under Bill with a lot of great guys on our staff, and to have the privilege to get to work with the players that we work with each day," McDaniels said. "It's a great opportunity. I'm very thankful to be here, and very much looking forward to this week against Pittsburgh."