Wes Welker says he endured Bill Belichick with Patriots

USA TODAY Sports

Wes Welker says he didn't particularly get along with former coach Bill Belichick, explaining further his decision to leave New England for Denver this offseason.

The split between Wes Welker and his longtime team, the New England Patriots, was a tad less than amicable, and now the Denver Broncos wide receiver is dishing on his former coach.

This week's Sports Illustrated cover story is on Welker as well as his Broncos teammates Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas, and touches on a relationship between Welker and Bill Belichick that author Chris Ballard says "deteriorated."

"It was just kind of hard," Welker said. "One of those deals where you have to endure him, put up with him . . . But he does it to everybody, it’s the way he is."

"When I’m answering questions from the Denver media, I’m not worried about what the Broncos’ people are going to think," Welker said "I’m worried about what Belichick will think. Isn’t that crazy?"

Welker says he had considered returning to New England, the only team other than Denver that was in the mix for his services. But there was chirping between Welker's camp and the Pats organization, and they offered him a deal for $4 million less over two years, hoping the 32-year-old would take the hometown discount. Throw in a less-than-stellar feelings about the man he'd have to play under, and Welker chose to team up with Manning.

It's no surprise that Belichick's icy demeanor comes across as grating to some of his players. But he wins a lot of football games, and it's also not surprising that Welker still considered returning to the Pats, in spite of Belichick. And he still calls Tom Brady his "big brother" and "best friend," so there are no hard feelings between him and his former teammates.

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