Wes Welker’s comments about his contract refreshing

f of the New England Patriots 23-20 overtime win at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA, 17 October 2010. EPA/CJ GUNTHER fotoglif761453

I think I can count on zero fingers how many times athletes that are heading into the final year of their contract say that they’re not deserving of a new deal based on their performance from the previous season.

Wes Welker couldn’t have made his agent too happy with his latest comments regarding his contract situation (he becomes a free agent in 2012), but they’re refreshing to say the least.

From the Boston Herald:

“I think everybody wants a new deal, but I wouldn’t say anything I did this past year would warrant one or anything like that,” Welker told the Herald Monday.

If this is some reverse psychology ploy by Welker, then it’s genius. But something tells me he truly means what he says in that he didn’t do anything last year to warrant a new deal.

But this is a player who shredded his ACL and MCL last season, only to bounce back and catch 86 passes for 848 yards and seven touchdowns. His reception and yard totals are the lowest since he arrived in New England, but the touchdown number is the second highest since 2008 and he also made the Pro Bowl.

Keep in mind that some people believed he would never be the same player he was before he suffered the knee injury in ’09. So for him to produce the numbers he did was rather remarkable given the circumstances. Usually it takes players at least one season to fully recover from the type of knee injury that Welker suffered and yet he was productive right away.

The Patriots make a habit of allowing a player’s contract to run out before they decide whether or not to renegotiate with them. That’s why Randy Moss wound up in Minnesota. He wouldn’t stop complaining that the team hadn’t offered him a new deal when he was in a contract year. Thus, it stands to reason that Welker will have to play out the final year of his current deal before he has the opportunity to negotiate another one.

But if he can get back to another 100-catch, 1,000-yard season, then I don’t see why the Patriots wouldn’t offer him a new contract. He may have pissed off Bill Belichick with his foot comments about Rex Ryan before the Divisional Round game against the Jets, but there’s no denying that Welker fits the Patriot mold.

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