Report: Welker contract talks have 'gotten worse'

594792.jpg

Report: Welker contract talks have 'gotten worse'

When Wes Welker decided to sign his 9.5 million franchise tender earlier this week, many were left to ponder the same question: Why?

Welker loves football, and it would have pained him to miss next week's OTAs. But by signing his guaranteed one-year deal -- and hoping that the Patriots would eventually reward him with a long-term contract -- he relinquished almost all leverage in negotiations.

Now it appears as though the receiver is realizing how his "leap of faith" move has been received by the Patriots. He told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald that long-term contract negotiations have "gotten worse" since he signed his franchise tender.

There have been talks, but nothing thats brightened anything at all, Welker told the Herald. Its actually gotten worse.

Welker went on to say that the Patriots' offer is actually less than the two-year, 16 million fully-guaranteed contract that was offered to him during the 2011 regular season.

Welker knows he could have held out. He knows he could have tried to make the Patriots sweat. But in the end, he also knows how things work in Foxboro. He told the Herald he thinks a holdout would have done nothing in terms of forcing the franchise's hand.

I think those techniques work better with other teams. I think the best thing you can do, as far as the Patriots, is be there and let them make the decision if they want to do something longterm or not, said Welker. Obviously, I want to be there. I want to help the team win. I want a championship and all those things. Im trying to do everything to make that happen, and Ill let everything else take care of itself.

It's a credit to Welker that his attitude hasn't shifted toward disgruntled, even as contract negotiations have been thrown in reverse.

The balls in their court. I just want to play, he said. At the end of the day, if its one year, 9.5 million, its one year, 9.5 million. Im good with that.

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.

Tom Brady adds sumo wrestling to offseason training regimen

brady.jpg

Tom Brady adds sumo wrestling to offseason training regimen

Tom Brady's off-the-field workout habits are the subject of serious curiosity for those in New England and beyond. Thanks to Under Armour's Instagram account, followers got a brief glimpse of what Brady does to stay in shape. 

OK. It was more like a glimpse at what he did one day in Tokyo.

@tombrady always fighting for that extra yard. 😂😂 #TBAsiaTour #IWILL

A post shared by Under Armour (@underarmour) on

The video of Brady in the dohyo ring was shot at the Sakaigawa sumo stable in Tokyo on Thursday. According to Kyodo News, leading the training session was ozeki Goeido, who won last year's Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

"For them to welcome me means very much to me. It's hard to describe in words how special that was," Brady said.

Brady bounced around China before heading to Japan to continue to help promote Under Armour and in particular its "recovery sleepwear" line. He threw a pass on the Great Wall, and he explained that it was his "dream" to play a game on the continent. 

Arigatōgozaimashita 🇯🇵🙏

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Brady vs Brady #therecanonlybeone 🏆

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on