By Kevin York
I love this. Far too often, owners, players, agents, really everyone in sports, gives the safe answer. They give the answer that their PR guy told them to use. The non-answer. The non-offensive, non-confrontational, non-bulletin board answer. Kraft didn’t in this case. People (Wes Welker’s agents) were trying to make it seem like the Pats wanted to move on from their relationship with the receiver. With Kraft’s blunt and direct statements, he made it perfectly clear that wasn’t the case.
Not only did he clarify the situation, he stated that the Patriots actually offered Welker more money than the Broncos did (who Welker signed with). So why didn’t he sign with New England? Kraft felt Welker’s agents misrepresented his market value to their client, leading him to believe he could get more on the open market than he actually could. They gave the Patriots a salary number that was higher than New England was able to go. Sensing they wouldn’t be able to get Welker, the Pats signed Danny Amendola as an alternative. One day later, Welker called Kraft and New England head coach Bill Belichik to inform them of Denver’s offer. According to Kraft, had Welker placed the call one day earlier, they would’ve been able to re-sign him since they were originally offering more money. With Amendola signed, they couldn’t.
I love that Kraft went into such detail on the timeline to pursue Welker and Amendola. I wish more teams were this transparent.
One day after Kraft made his statements, Welker’s agents responded, almost as direct. We’re not exactly sure what happened now, but I love the fire both sides are spewing.