The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Welker's agents dispute Kraft's criticism
Tue, 03/19/2013 - 10:14am  

Welker's agents dispute Kraft's criticism

Wes Welker‘s representatives released a statement to NFL.com early Tuesday responding to criticism from Patriots owner Robert Kraft and claimed the team showed no willingness to move from its one and only offer to Welker before the receiver accepted a deal from the Broncos.

“Both sides are clear that the Patriots made one offer to Wes Welker since the prior negotiations ended in July 2012,” read the statement from Athletes First. “Both sides also agree that this two-year offer came just hours before the start of free agency despite discussions that began at the NFL combine. Moreover, this lone offer was presented as a ‘take it or leave it offer.’ When we asked if there was room for structural changes, we were told no. We made a counter offer for the same term and same maximum dollar amount as their offer and it was rejected. We inquired if any of the offer’s components were negotiable and were told no. This refusal to actually negotiate made it easy to reject the Patriots offer. Nevertheless, when we received the Denver Broncos’ offer, Wes personally talked to Mr. Kraft to give the Patriots the opportunity to match it. The Patriots rejected this opportunity and Wes signed with the Denver Broncos.”

On Monday, Kraft spoke at the league meetings in Phoenix and insisted the Patriots wanted to keep Welker, despite the apparent lack of effort to do so.

“Wes Welker, just to be very clear, was our first choice to be with the team,” Kraft said. “When free agency came, and his agents kept on insisting on a very high number that was beyond our number, we had to go work alternatives.”

Added Kraft: “I really believe in this case, his agents misrepresented, in their mind, what his market value was. When you come right down to the bottom line, he accepted a deal in Denver that is less money than what we offered him.”

Welker agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal with the Broncos, while the Patriots offered two years and $10 million, although incentives could have pushed the value to $16 million.

Kraft claimed Welker accepted less guaranteed money from the Broncos, and by the time the receiver presented the team with Denver’s offer, the Patriots already had moved on to Danny Amendola. Otherwise, Kraft said the team would have been willing to meet that price.

“If he had called one day earlier, he would have been with us,” Kraft said. “I’m very sad about it and I wish he would have been with our team.”

Added Kraft: “We wanted him, and we were willing to pay him slightly above what we believed his market value to be, and in fact, what it is. We in fact did it. If you look at what he accepted, and what was out there. The unfortunate part, the agent is playing poker with us, we have to decide: Are we going to be left completely naked here? Or do we go out and do the best job we can do to fill that position with the information we have available to us? And that’s what we did. Time will tell what was right.”

Welker’s representatives, while calling Kraft “an exceptional NFL owner,” disputed his assertion that the team was willing to adjust its offer.

“Despite Mr. Kraft’s impression to the contrary, the Patriots representatives who participated in these phone calls never indicated that the team ‘would have even gone up’ on their offer, or that these discussions occurred ‘before we thought we were going into free agency,’” the Athletes First statement read. “Instead, the Patriots made it abundantly clear that their one offer was non-negotiable. Athletes First has no issue with this approach and casts no blame on either side for a deal not being consummated. However, we believe it is important that the negotiations are accurately portrayed in the media.”




Audio On Demand

Mike Reiss with Dale, Hol…

Mike Reiss with Dale, Holley and Thornton

Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.

NFL SUNDAY with Mike Giardi and Chris Price -- Roger Goodell is maddening! -- 5-1-16

Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.

NFL SUNDAY with Mike Giardi and Chris Price -- A look at the AFC East post NFL Draft -- 5-1-16

Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.

Game 6 and Hawks Series B…

Game 6 and Hawks Series Breakdown plus offseason preview with Kevin O'Connor of CelticsBlog

Kevin O'Connor of CelticsBlog joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for a breakdown of what went wrong in the Celtics series against the Hawks. they then played Celtics free agent tinder and looked ahead to the big moves in store for the offseason.

WEEI Celtics Podcast - Game 6 preview/Game 5 breakdown with ESPN's Chris Forsberg - 4/28/16

It wouldn't be a Celtics v Hawks Game 6 preview/Game 5 breakdown without ESPN's Celtics Whisperer Chris Forsberg joining Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for some WEEI Studio magic. They discuss the Hawks' transition dominance on their mega runs and the bizarre night for Isaiah Thomas. Of course they also answered your #WEEICeltics Tweet Bag questions!

WEEI Celtics Podcast - Game 4 Recap/Game 5 Preview with ESPN's Chris Forsberg - 4/25/16

The boys recap Marcus Smart and Paul Millsap's incredible battle in the Celtics' Game 4 win over the Atlanta Hawks with ESPN's Chris Forsberg. Jared Weiss and Sam Packard discussed Jared Sullinger's struggles and the reemergence of Machine Bun Kelly. They discuss inside media stuff like when to applaud for honorees and Chris' devotion to southern unsweetened tea. Of course they answered your #WEEICeltics Tweet Bag questions too.

5-01-16 Christian Vazquez…

5-01-16 Christian Vazquez Player Of The Game Interview

Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox catcher, whose two-run homer off of Dellin Betances gave the Sox the lead for good over the Yankees.

Rick Porcello Player of the Game Interview

Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello, after he pitched 7 shutout innings against the Yankees Saturday night.

Bradfo Show: Brian Butterfield talks Hanley, Pablo, Patriots draft picks, message for Roger Goodell

Red Sox third base/infield coach Brian Butterfield joined Rob Bradford to get his take on Hanley Ramirez, Travis Shaw and Pablo Sandoval. Butterfield, an avid Patriots fan, also predicts who the Pats might take in the second round, while giving a very pointed message to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

SUNDAY SKATE with DJ Bean…

SUNDAY SKATE with DJ Bean and Pete Blackburn -- A look toward the future for the Bruins -- 4-17-16

DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.

SUNDAY SKATE with WEEI's DJ Bean and Uproxx's Pete Blackburn -- They got what they wanted...Claude Julien is staying in Boston -- 4-17-16

DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.

Butch Stearns with DJ Bean and Pete Blackburn -- The season is officially over for the Bruins; where do we go from here? -- 4-10-16

Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.

Headlines - The White Hou…

Headlines - The White House Correspondents Dinner, 5-2-16

Larry Wilmore and Barack Obama brought the house down and left the audience in stitches at the 2016 White House Correspondents Dinner.

Mike Tyson endorses Donald Trump, 5-2-16

Donald Trump is enjoying the endorsement of convicted rapist, Mike Tyson.

The coddling of Jessica Mendoza continues, 5-2-16

Jessica Mendoza was on the broadcast last night as the Sox and Yankees played in Fenway Park. She continues to add limited insight while avoiding any and all criticism. Also, Lee in Rhode Island infuriated the guys with his Tom Brady phone call.

Reactions to the NFL draf…

Reactions to the NFL draft and Robert Kraft speaks to Patriots fans 5-2-16

Christian thinks the Patriots new quarterback, 3rd round pick Jacoby Brissett, absoluetely stinks and him, Lou and Glenn give you their take on this year's NFL draft. Also, Patriots owner Robert Kraft speaks to Patriots fans to let them know he has Tom Brady's back.

Former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk discusses wearing a Tom Brady jersey at the draft on OMF 5-2-16

Kevin Faulk wore his tom Brady jersey to the NFL draft when announcing the Patriots' picks, and he joins Glenn, Lou and Christian to talk about who had the idea (Dale Arnold) and Brady's reaction.

McScuse me, bitch?! 5-2-16

The guys have some fun with a YouTube video of an angry McDonalds customer after she wasn't offered a discounted McRib.

Complete Patriots draft b…

Complete Patriots draft breakdown with ESPN's Mike Reiss

Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Discussing why the Patriots took a quarterback in this draft

Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the Patriots selection of Jacoby Brissett and what that means for Tom Brady and his suspension, and more importantly Jimmy Garropolo.

Dale and Holley's Final Drive 05-02-16

We close out the show with the best soundbites of the day and weekend.

Planet Mikey Podcast - Ho…

Planet Mikey Podcast - Hour 4, 4-21-16

It’s all about the music – the crew touches on Prince, and the greatest bands of all time

Planet Mikey Podcast - Hour 3, 4-21-16

Mikey, Christian Arcand, and Chris Villani talk about the Sox horrific loss today, and MJ takes over the text line

Planet Mikey Podcast - Hour 2, 4-21-16

Mikey, Christian Arcand, and Chris Villani talk about the Sox horrific loss today, plus they’re joined by Cassie, the Textress

Butch & Tomase Podcast ta…

Butch & Tomase Podcast talking #Celtics with NBA analyst Kevin O'Connor

SB Nation's Kevin O'Connor joins Butch Stearns and John Tomase to talk all things Celtics' offseason, including the upcoming draft

Game 6 and Hawks Series Breakdown plus offseason preview with Kevin O'Connor of CelticsBlog - 4/29/16

Kevin O'Connor of CelticsBlog joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for a breakdown of what went wrong in the Celtics series against the Hawks. they then played Celtics free agent tinder and looked ahead to the big moves in store for the offseason.

Bradfo Show: Brian Butterfield talks Hanley, Pablo, Patriots draft picks, message for Roger Goodell

Red Sox third base/infield coach Brian Butterfield joined Rob Bradford to get his take on Hanley Ramirez, Travis Shaw and Pablo Sandoval. Butterfield, an avid Patriots fan, also predicts who the Pats might take in the second round, while giving a very pointed message to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Sausage announces his ret…

Sausage announces his retirement and Paul interviews for the job, 4-22-16

Sausage tells the guys that he's moving onto greener (read: more lucrative) pastures. His potential replacement, Paul, is interviewed for the job.

More from this show

Enough About Me - Ep. 11:…

Enough About Me - Ep. 11: Peter King

The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show's Bulldog, Kirk Minihane, talks with Peter King about what he learned from deflategate, having information he couldn't run with, and how long he will continue to report on the NFL.

More from this show

Federal appellate lawyer …

Federal appellate lawyer Raffi Melkonian gives his expert analysis on 2nd Circuit court's decision, 4-25-16

Glenn, Lou, and Christian check in with Raffi Melkonian to get his insight on the 2nd Circuit court's decision and what Tom Brady's options are going forward.

More from this show

SI's Peter King - I don't…

SI's Peter King - I don't think Deflategate is over yet

We check in for the national perspective on Tom Brady's reinstated suspension from MMQB/SI's Peter King

More from this show

Does Prince's drug use ch…

Does Prince's drug use change your opinion of him? 4-25-16

Dino, Gerry and Kirk look at the reports surrounding Prince and his drug use.

More from this show

News & Analysis