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From the Hart: Welker wants to be at Pats mini-camp

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Rob Ninkovich talks with the media.

Monday the franchised receiver sounded a bit more upbeat about the possibility that he could be on the practice field.

"We're still kind of waiting, but I'd really like to be there," Welker told WEEI radio. "I don't know. To say I'm going one way or another right now, I'm not going to say definite or anything like that. But I would definitely like to be at those minicamps for sure."

Welker clearly wants a lucrative long term contract after playing out the five-year, $18 million deal that brought him to New England in 2007. As it stands today, he is scheduled to play under the Patriots franchise tag, which would pay him a guaranteed $9.5 million at whatever point he might decide to sign that tender.

Some have wondered if Welker might stay away from the team and miss regular season games if he doesn't get the contract he so covets. But it doesn't sound that way.

"There's 9 1/2 million reasons why I wouldn't miss any regular-season game," referring to the franchise tag. "So, I don't have to worry about that."

Overall the tone of the interview seemed rather optimistic.

"I think we're all on the same page," Welker told WEEI. "And we're all trying to collectively come together and make something happen. I think everybody just needs to know that. We're all on the same page and we're trying to work toward something.

"We're just kind of moving along. I have a great relationship with coach [Bill Belichick] and Mr. Kraft and with the front office and everybody else. I don't think there's any sort of hard feelings on my side or their side. I think we're all looking forward to the 2012 season and hopefully do some big things there."

Welker is in New England for the Wes Welker Football Clinic that takes place this weekend in Peabody.

For the entire audio from the WEEI appearance click here.

What do you think of Welker's comments? Do they make you feel better about his future with the team and the 2012 season? Let us know with a comment below!

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