Welker: 'I'm here, I'm happy'
June, 12, 2012
By Mike Rodak | ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski signed a six-year contract extension last week, attention turned to Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, who continues to negotiate with the team for his own long-term deal.
Speaking to reporters at Tuesday's mandatory minicamp, Welker said that he is glad for Gronkowski, even though the team chose to first do a deal with Gronkowski.
David Butler II/US PresswireWes Welker, who is seeking a long-term contract of his own, said Rob Gronkowski deserved the big contract he received.
"No, not at all," Welker said when asked if he was upset by Gronkowski getting a new deal. "I'm always pulling for the players. Especially a guy like Gronk, who does such a great job for us and works hard and deserves every bit of that contract."
Six weeks ago, before Welker signed his franchise tender that will pay him a guaranteed $9.5 million salary this season, there was talk that he would not attend this week's mandatory minicamp. Welker practiced today, and did not want the contract to be a distraction.
"I'm not worried about that at all," Welker said. "Right now I'm here, I'm happy. I'm just here and try to help our team win in 2012."
Welker was pressed further on if he expects a deal to get done by the July 16 deadline for franchise players to sign long-term extensions.
"I don't really expect anything," he said. "I expect for me to go out there and do my job to the best of my ability."
At one point in the line of questioning, Welker looked to move away from the topic.
"I think I've said everything I've needed to say as far as anything about my contract," he told reporters.
Asked about the July 16 deadline at his Tuesday morning news conference, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick did not have much to offer.
"It is what it is," Belichick said. "The rules are the rules. So whatever they are, we'll comply with them."