Report: Welker won't hold out

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Report: Welker won't hold out

Wes Welker might take the franchise tag quietly.

Jeff Howe of NESN.com tweeted a good soldier status update on the Patriots receiver:

"On Welker, I've been told by several close to him, if he's under contract, he will honor that contract, won't hold out. We'll see."

Howe's tweet co-exists nicely with Welker's from earlier this week.

Glad that I will be a Patriot in 2012. And hopefully 13,14,15,16,17,18 he wrote after receiving the team's tag.

The optimism and cooperative spirit is swell and all, but it might not fill out Welker's wallet.

Vince Wilfork made a stink about the franchise tag a few years ago, calling the mere thought of it a "slap in the face." He ended up with a five-year, 40 million dollar deal just weeks after it was applied. Logan Mankins made a bigger mess after getting tagged, holding out for eight weeks before the Patriots gave him six years and 51 million.

So why is Welker behaving?

"That's the thing that's going to hurt him," Jermaine Wiggins said on 98.5's Felger and Mazz show. "If you look, even at his old contract, because he didn't take them to the wall like Logan Mankins. Generally, guys who hold out and say, 'I'm going to do it this way. I'm not going to be that model citizen you wanted.' Those are the guys that get paid.

"That cliche where nice guys finish last?" Wiggins continued. "That's true in the NFL. You've got to really ruffle some feathers."

Doesn't sound like that's Welker's plan.

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins' situation isn't far off from a character in HBO's "Ballers." And he played into those connections with a video on Twitter.

The slot receiver, who signed with the Patriots on Wednesday, shares some similarities with the fictional football player Rickey Jerret, a veteran receiver who wades through interest from a number of teams, including New England, during free agency. Because of those similarities, Hawkins spoofed on a scene from "Ballers" where Jerret works out with Patriots receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Hawkins imposes his face over Jerret's.

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

The Coyotes have hired former player Craig Cunningham as a pro scout, keeping the 26-year-old in hockey after a cardiac episode ended his playing career this season. 

Drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, Cunningham played 34 games for Boston over parts of two seasons before he was waived and claimed by Arizona. He totaled 19 games for the Coyotes, but served as captain of the Tucson Roadrunners, the team’s AHL affiliate. 

Cunningham was hospitalized after he collapsed during pregame warmups on Nov. 19. He was kept alive by continual CPR, but had his lower left leg amputated the next months due to an infection from the episode. 

Known as a high-character player who was popular with his teammates, Cunningham’s transition to scouting lets him further his career after a scary break. 

"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes," Cunningham said in a statement released by the team. "I'm very grateful to John Chayka, Dave Tippett, the Coyotes and Roadrunners organizations, and all of the great fans across Arizona for the incredible support I've received over the past year. I'm looking forward to helping the Coyotes and I can't wait to get started in my new role."

Said Chayka, the team’s general manager: ”We're thrilled to have Craig join our hockey operations department as a pro scout. Craig was a smart, hard-working player with an incredible passion for the game. We're confident that he will bring those same qualities to the Coyotes in his new role and that he will be an invaluable asset to our organization. We look forward to Craig helping us in several areas and are excited that he is staying with the club."