Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker joined Mut & Merloni Monday afternoon and, despite implying recently that he probably would not attend the team's June minicamp while he negotiates a new contract, said he's hoping to make an appearance.
"We're still kind of waiting, but I'd really like to be there," he said. "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, in town to host the Wes Welker Football Clinic this Saturday and Sunday in Peabody, indicated he harbors no ill toward the organization as negotiations drag on.
"I think we're all on the same page," he said. "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."
Added Welker: "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, who was given the franchise tag (worth about $9.5 million) for the 2012 season, talked about trying to balance a big payday with playing for a team he's come to appreciate.
"I think anybody that plays for any organization that has done a good job over the years wants to be rewarded for it," he said. "I think I'm no different from any other guy that's in the league. The main thing is just trying to keep a level head about it and make sure you're making the best decisions for yourself, but at the same time put yourself in a position where you can play for a great team and hopefully do some great things in the future."
Former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest appeared on NFL Network last month and criticized Welker for his "diva attitude" for threatening to skip minicamp. The two then exchanged tweets, with Welker questioning McGinest's decision to leave the Pats for the Browns toward the end of his career.
"I was a little bit surprised, just because I know that he knows what a business this is," Welker said. "Especially being in the position that he's been put in and stuff, that he kind of put me out there like that. But it's all in good fun, man. I'm not too worried about it. I've talked with Willie a few times and stuff. So, it's all good. There's nothing but love and all those things. But we had to go back and forth on that a little bit."
Following are more highlights from the conversation.
On getting over the Super Bowl loss to the Giants: "You learn from it, you move on, and hopefully you get the opportunity again next time. But it's definitely one of those that stings for a while. You want to fight back from it and come back from it stronger, and hopefully we're able to do that and we'll learn from that situation and move on from it. But it definitely takes a lot longer than your typical game, obviously."
On Tom Brady saying he'd like to play 10 more years: "There's no doubt in my mind. There's no doubt. Tom, in every decision he makes, in everything he does -- from what he eats to what he drinks to what his traveling schedule is -- everything is centered around football. Everything. It's almost sickening. It's almost like an illness that he has or something. Every decision he makes is literally towards being a better football player. I commend him on it. It's hard. It's not easy to eat the way he does, to train the way he does and do the things he needs to do to be better. Especially in the position he's in, he doesn't have to. But he loves it. That's what he strives for and what he loves. And it shows in the way he carries himself."
On the possibility he would hold out and miss a regular-season game: "No, not at all. Not at all. There's 9 1/2 million reasons why I wouldn't miss any regular-season game. So, I don't have to worry about that."
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