Welker: 'I'm not frustrated whatsoever'

603946.jpg

Welker: 'I'm not frustrated whatsoever'

PEABODY -- Wes Welker spent part of his youth football clinic teaching young receivers how to run comeback routes.

Later, while speaking to the media, he ran one of his own, backtracking on comments he made earlier in the week to the Boston Herald.

Not long after signing his franchise tender, Welker told the Herald that negotiations for a long-term contract with the Patriots have "gotten worse" and that he was offered less than the two-year 16 million deal the team proposed last season.

"That was probably a bad choice of words saying they've 'gotten worse,' " said Welker as he took a break from his clinic at Bishop Fenwick High School.

"They've pretty much stayed the same. I'm franchised for the year. And I'm completely happy with that. I'm completely OK with it and I look forward to contributing to the team in 2012."

On Friday, the Boston Globe reported that the Patriots were not very happy with what Welker told the Herald. According to the Globe, the receiver's words "have only increased the chances that 2012 will be his final season with the team.

One day later, Welker did his best to clean up whatever mess it was his comments had made.

"I'm not frustrated whatsoever," he said. "I know the words that came out maybe seemed that way, but I'm not frustrated at all. I'm making five times more than what I did last year so there's no frustration there."

Now that Welker has signed his franchise tender, he is under contract with the Patriots for one year and guaranteed to make 9.5 million. He said that he plans to report to Foxboro for organized team activities on Monday.

"I'm excited to be back, excited to be a Patriot," Welker said. "I'm excited to be on the field for OTAs and minicamps with my teammates. Looking forward to the 2012 season and us out there, getting better."

Welker also seemed to be looking forward to putting his back-and-forth with the Patriots behind him. The two sides have until July 15 to strike a long-term deal, but Welker did not say if there have been any recent discussions about a new contract.

While he would like the security of a long-term deal, he says he is content with his current status. He understands that he is being paid "handsomely" under the franchise tag. Plus, being under contract also means that is able to be on the field, practice with his teammates, and play the game he loves.

"It is what it is. I just enjoy playing ball," he said. "I enjoy being out there. I enjoy playing the game. That's never gonna change. I think you can get caught up in contract talks, and react silly sometimes. We get to play a game that we love. There's no need to get into everything else about it."

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL


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.”