Robert Kraft: ‘Everyone In Our Organization Wanted Wes Welker Back’
BOSTON (CBS) — The fallout of Wes Welker’s departure from the Patriots last week has led to several leaked stories, contradictory reports and a media free-for-all as everyone tried to figure out exactly what happened.
On Monday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft addressed the media and offered his side.
“You know, everyone in our organization wanted Wes Welker back. Anyone who doubts that, or thinks we weren’t serious, just doesn’t get it,” Kraft said, as transcribed by ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Kraft said that the Patriots’ offer of $10 million over two years was actually better than the one Welker accepted in Denver, because his Denver deal allows the team to potentially cut him after the 2013 season, making it worth $6 million in one season.
“So in fact, our offer was better than what in fact he got from Denver,” Kraft said. “I’m just really sad about that. Everyone in our organization, including our head coach … just to clear up any misconception, we wanted Wes back.”
Kraft also said that Welker was the team’s first choice, and Danny Amendola was the second choice. But because Welker took so long to get back to the Patriots with the Broncos’ offer, the team had already moved forward with signing Amendola.
“If [Welker] had called one day earlier, he would have been with us,” Kraft said. “And so that, is the Wes Welker story. I’m very sad about it and I wish he would have been with our team.”
Welker’s agent, David Dunn, said that the Patriots never even made an offer to Welker. Kraft said “there was an offer, and that’s just bogus.”
Kraft was also asked if he had spoken to New England quarterback Tom Brady about the situation.
“I don’t answer to Tom Brady,” said Kraft. “He’s an important member of the team and we’ve chatted. He did what he did to put us in the best position to build a team around him and win games. We’ve chatted about it. But he has never … it has been reported that he, or people close to him, have made certain comments. None of that is true. I’ve spoken with him directly. Whomever is creating that impression is mistaken.”