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."
Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.
Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.
Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children. He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.
Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.
Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004. He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.
The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993.
In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.
“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”
Phil Perry and Mike Giardi react to Ben Volin's article regarding Tom Brady's future, and whether they think Brady has not been honest about wanting to play into his mid 40's.