Wes Welker's agent says Patriots extended 'take-it-or-leave-it offer'

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Wes Welker's camp now says that the Patriots gave him a non-negotiable contract offer, leading the veteran wide receiver to sign with the Denver Broncos in free agency.

The back-and-forth between Wes Welker (and his agent) and the New New England Patriots in the media continues. Welker's agency, Athletes First, suggests that the Patriots extended Welker a "take-it-or-leave-it offer," and that's why the veteran wide receiver elected to sign with the Denver Broncos in free agency, according to NFL.com.

Welker's contract issues with the Patriots goes back to last season, when he signed a one-year franchise tender as a "leap of faith." He felt that getting a long-term contract extension was a realistic possibility, but talks reportedly broke down and didn't resume for the entirety of the season.

Quarterback Tom Brady restructured his contract to free up some cap room this year, and many felt it was to aid the team in re-signing Welker, but in the end, he hit free agency and signed with the Broncos, as noted. According to Welker's agent, the Patriots didn't want Welker and didn't make him a serious offer.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft came back and suggested that Welker was their top option, but that Welker's agent s to blame for pricing the receiver too high. So now we have the reply from the Welker camp, which is the report referenced above suggesting that there was a "take-it-or-leave-it offer."

The statement from Welker's agent says that the Patriots left no room for structural changes and that the team did not even entertain counter-offers. That includes counter-offers that did not include changing of the contract's maximum dollar amount, likely meaning guaranteed money was a concern for Welker's camp.

Welker eventually signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Broncos and that might be the last significant contract of his career. He had 118 receptions for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns in 2012 and figured to be one of Peyton Manning's top targets this season.

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