BY NICK ST. DENIS
But when it comes to receiver Wes Welker, they're about as personal as ever. (photo: Arnold Tijerina, Flickr)
At the NFL owners meeting in Arizona Monday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft uncharacteristically opened up to the media about the details of New England's dealing with the recently departed Welker, who struck a deal with the Denver Broncos after he and the Patriots couldn't work anything out.
Initial reaction to the move was that New England wasn't willing to match what the Broncos were going to give Welker. But according to Kraft, Welker would've been better off, financially, in Foxborough.
"When you come right down to the bottom line, he accepted a deal in Denver which is less money than what we offered him," Kraft said, according to ESPN Boston. "In fact, he has a one-year deal in Denver for $6 million. Our last offer, before we would have even gone up and before we thought we were going into free agency, was a $10 million offer with incentives that would have earned him another $6 million if he performed the way he had the previous two years.
"But in Denver, he’s going to count $4 million against the cap this coming year and $8 million the second year. There is no guarantee that he plays the second year there. He will get $6 million the first year. Our deal, he would have gotten $8 million the first year – our last offer to him."
“So in fact, our offer was better than what in fact he got from Denver. I’m just really sad about that. Everyone in our organization, including our head coach – I sat in a number of meetings, we discussed this very carefully. Just to clear up any misconception, we wanted Wes back."
Kraft added that Welker was the Patriots' No. 1 option over Danny Amendola, who ultimately signed with New England instead of Welker.
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