Robert Kraft has a way of making sense.
The Patriots have been reluctant to give receiver Wes Welker the long-term deal he wants this offseason, as they slapped him with the franchise tag last month and have reportedly not been pleased with his going public on his displeasure with his contract negotiations.
The 31-year-old slot receiver has led the NFL in receptions for the three of the past five seasons and has obviously been quarterback Tom Brady's go-to guy during that span.
Kraft, the Patriots' owner, recognizes what Welker means to the franchise, but he's not willing to lose sight of the bottom line.
"Anyone can say whatever they want. He’s done a great job for us, we’re always trying to do whatever we can do to put our team in the best position to win, that means balancing a lot of things, understanding what the cap is, what the cap growth is, how things fit in the system and we try to have values for every position and every player."
If Welker plays out his franchise tender season with no new deal, which is likely to happen, he'll be 32 years old when he becomes a free agent again.
That's the bottom line. Though, Welker could still be capable of producing at a high level for at least another season. Cue another one-year gig.
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