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Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Making sense of Welker's remarks

By Mike Reiss

A quick follow-up on Wes Welker's comments to reporters today in New York, which were relayed by ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk:

When Welker says he's OK with the franchise tag, but that he's not sure about plans to sign it, it seems like a contradiction.

From this view, the key thing to keep in mind is leverage.

Welker's hope remains for a longer deal. By signing the tender, he would essentially pass up on the small bit of leverage he has in this case. The thinking could be that once he's officially under contract by signing the tender, the Patriots might not have the same urgency in long-term talks.

It's relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, but that is my view on how the two thoughts intersect.

Also, one might say it's notable that Welker was modeling the team's jersey even though he's unsigned. That reflects the tone in which Welker has handled his contract situation, and the Patriots' view of Welker as well.