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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Tue Jul 23 - 02:01 AM | Wed Jul 24 - 10:25 AM

Quick Kicks: Welker unsure about OTAs

Patriots WR Wes Welker made the rounds at ESPN today to promote prostate cancer awareness — a cause he's been championing throughout this offseason.


He appeared on several broadcasts, both TV and radio, in Bristol (where he bumped into Super Bowl foe Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants).

A short time ago, Welker spoke with our ESPN Boston radio colleague Adam Jones about the status of Welker's contract with the Patriots. He has yet to sign his franchise tag tender (valued at around $9.5 million), and until he does — or signs a long-term deal — he cannot participate in any offseason activities with the team.

Jones asked Welker what the chances are that he'll miss workouts next month. The Pro Bowl receiver responded, "I'm not 100 percent sure on that. I don't know if I will or not. I'm thinking I'm probably not going to [attend], but things could change … We'll just see how it all plays out."

Skipping mini-camps and OTAs might not be that big a deal, but if Welker still doesn't have a contract by the end of July, his holdout could extend into training camp, which would be problematic for both sides. Welker said earlier this offseason that his franchise tender would be difficult to walk away from, assuming he didn't get a longer-term offer from New England. So, it would seem that he doesn't want to drag out the negotiations any longer than necessary. But …

"I just feel that this was the best, really the only, leverage I had is to take this route," he continued with Jones. "It's not a route I thought I'd ever take, just because that's not me. It's just kind of the spot I've been put in. You want that long term deal and that security. Toward the end next season [if the tender is signed] if we're still in the same spot it's going to be the same scenario again. I'll be sitting on another winning lottery ticket and all I have to do is stay healthy through the next year. It's kind of hard as a player because you just want to go out there and play and be able to do everything you want to do and play well and not worry about getting hurt or getting injured. Just go out there and enjoy the game and play it to the best of your ability and not have those worries."

Concluding his interview with Jones, Welker stressed that he understands that what's happening between him and the team right now boils down to a business transaction, but that there's nowhere else he'd rather be than in Foxborough once the smoke clears.

"Obviously I want to stay in New England, that's objective No. 1. Hopefully we can make that happen. Really that's all I look toward. I don't see it going any other way, but it is still part of the business and some of the things we have to figure out."

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