- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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It's usually an event when a former New England Patriot rips a current Patriot. It always seems odd, considering how tight-lipped players are when under Bill Belichick's umbrella. Suddenly a player retires, is given an open forum and is very vocal about current events in New England.
Former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest, who works for the NFL Network, is the latest example. He called Patriots Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker a "diva" for not signing the franchise tag and considering skipping the team's mandatory mini-camp in June.
"I just don't like the diva attitude," McGinest said on the NFL Network. "Let's keep it real. Prior to the Patriots, this is a guy who played three years, had 96 receptions, never had a 1,000-yard season."
McGinest continued to rip Welker.
"This $9 million-plus that they're offering is half of his last contract. That's a lot of money," McGinest said. "Let's not forget that they signed Brandon Lloyd...they signed (Deion) Branch back, they got the two tight ends; they have weapons on that offense.
"So look, Wes, it's time to take off the leopard-printed cowboy boots, get off the party tour and get back to work."
Welker is slated to make $9.5 million for 2012 if he signs the franchise tag. Welker, who turns 31 next week, prefers long-term security.
But calling Welker a diva seems out of line. Welker has never had that reputation. Like McGinest, Welker is a very hard worker who got the most out of his abilities with the Patriots. Sometimes the business of the NFL can get dirty, but that shouldn't override Welker's character.
It's usually an event when a former New England Patriot rips a current Patriot. It always seems odd, considering how tight-lipped players are when under Bill Belichick's umbrella.