BOSTON (CBS) — The last thing Wes Welker could ever want is to create a sideshow that overshadows the rest of the team. His comments on Tuesday that he probably will skip mandatory workouts, however, may have kicked off the circus.
It began Tuesday night, when former Patriots great Willie McGinest chimed in on Welker’s stance.
“I just don’t like the diva attitude,” McGinest said on NFL Network. “Let’s keep it real — prior to the Patriots, this is a guy who played three years, had 96 receptions and never had a 1,000-yard season. Due to a big part of the Patriots offensive system and Tom Brady, he’s had five years where he’s had over 100 catches. … Let’s just keep everything in perspective — a big part of [Welker's success] is due to the Patriots.”
McGinest speaks from experience within the Patriots’ system, albeit on the defensive side, where he won three Super Bowls with the team. However, he left the team in 2006 to sign as a free agent with the Browns at age 34.
Welker fired back with exactly that message via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.
“@williemcginest why did u ever leave the Pats and play for the Browns?,” Welker tweeted.
McGinest responded: “@WesWelker My point exactly. We’re all expendable at Patriot Place”
Welker, who turns 31 in May, was going to be a free agent this offseason, until the Patriots placed the franchise tag on him. The tag would pay him more than $9 million this season, but Welker said Tuesday he’s looking for the long-term financial security that a one-year deal can’t provide.
McGinest said that no matter what, back in the dynasty days, no player would tell the Patriots he’s not showing up to camp, and Welker should follow suit.
“So look, Wes, it’s time to take off the leopard-printed cowboy boots, get off the party tour and get back to work,” McGinest said. “[In] my tenure in New England, no matter how big you were or who you were, nobody said that they weren’t coming to a mandatory minicamp. If you know anything about New England, understand that you’re expendable. Unless you’re Bill Belichick or Tom Brady, you’re expendable.”