Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the NFL Network on Tuesday that "we’d like to see [Wes Welker] be a Patriot for life, but it takes two sides."
Speaking at the league meetings in Atlanta, Kraft seemed happy to have Welker in the fold -- the receiver signed his franchise tender last week, a one-year deal worth roughly $9.5 million -- but said certain steps need to be taken before both sides can agree on a long-tern deal for the receiver.
"We’re just happy he’s back in the system," Kraft said. "He’s a wonderful young man, and a special guy. I think both sides would like to do a deal, but it requires intelligence and putting our team first."
Kraft was asked about a story where the team might have been upset with Welker taking the negotiations public.
"Anyone can say whatever they want," Kraft said. "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."
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