Welker: 'Bill and I have a good relationship'

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Welker: 'Bill and I have a good relationship'

FOXBORO -- As soon as Patriots receiver Wes Welker said it's nice to stick a great on-field performance "in Bill Belichick's face," he probably knew it was a mistake. No matter how innocent his intentions may or may not have been.

Welker let the quip fly Sunday night after catching 13 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown against Denver.

By early Monday evening, his regret was forced on display.

"It was a joke," he told reporters. "I don't know what else to say about it. It was a joke.

"Bill and I, whether y'all believe it or not, have a good relationship. It was a joke and I'll make sure to keep that in house going forward."

He punctuated that last sentence with an eye roll.

Some will argue Welker should have known better. He got benched in 2010's divisional playoff against the Jets after making 11 references to Rex Ryan's alleged foot fetish in a press conference.

And he might remember teammate Tom Brady saying, "I'm not joking any more this year" in 2011 after his previous week's instruction for Patriots fans to get "lubed up" and rowdy for a home game turned into a PR nightmare.

"You've just got to be careful with what you say," Welker said, a look of annoyance alighting on his features. "Bill does a great job of challenging us and being a great coach and doing things necessary that he needs to do. I made a joke about it and it won't happen again."

As for any fallout -- another benching, maybe -- Welker said he's not expecting repercussions from the coach.

"I don't think so at all. We're just concentrating on Seattle this week and getting ready for the game."

Kraft won't hold a grudge over Deflategate, but he also won't forget it

Kraft won't hold a grudge over Deflategate, but he also won't forget it

Haters gonna hate. Robert Kraft knows that, and he's not going to hold a grudge because of it. But he won't forget, either.

The New England Patriots owner appeared on the latest episode of HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" for an interview with Andrea Kremer that aired Tuesday night, and he was as candid as any member of the organization has been throughout the Deflategate saga.

“I really don’t hold grudges,” Kraft admitted in the interview, per WEEI. “I mean, I remember everything, but I move on . . . Envy and jealousy are incurable diseases. The haters still hate. And I understand it, and we’ll do our best to keep them in that position.”

And while Kraft isn't holding grudges, he still recognizes the negative impact the controversy left on Tom Brady's pristine reputation.

“He’s just not the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL,” Kraft began. “He’s an amazing human being. And is genuine. And as nice as everybody thinks he is, he’s nicer. And to see anyone attack him as an individual or his integrity. And that just wasn’t fair.”

Bennett says he is 'just chilling' and hasn't given free agency 'a ton of thought'

Bennett says he is 'just chilling' and hasn't given free agency 'a ton of thought'

Will Martellus Bennett be back with the Patriots next season?

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says it's "a real possibility" Bennett leaves given the asking price and potential offers.

Less than an hour later, the unrestricted free agent sent out a tweet responding to speculation about his future.

Bennett, who will 30 years old in March, had seven touchdowns in 19 games in his first season with the New England Patriots.