Patriots

Welker: 'Probably not going' to minicamp

722858.jpg

Welker: 'Probably not going' to minicamp

After Wes Welker was slapped with the franchise tag in early March, it was clear that he planned to negotiate a long-term deal with the Patriots.

"Glad that I will be a Patriot in 2012 and hopefully 13,14,15,16,17,18," Welker tweeted at the time.

Nothing long-term came down right away, but Welker continued to say all the right things in interviews, hoping something could be worked out.

"I mean, it's a lot of money," he said earlier this month of the 9.5 million he would be paid under the franchise tag.

"How can you ever be upset about that? It's not a bad deal, so I'm not too worried about it."

But here we are, almost two months after he was tagged, and nothing has changed. Welker hasn't signed his tender, and no progress has been made toward a long-term deal.

Now the All-Pro wideout appears to be in a holding pattern. With no new deal, he told ESPN Boston Radio that he probably will not attend the team's mandatory minicamp in June.

"I'm thinking I'm probably not going to, but things could change," he said.

If Welker's still not under contract by the time minicamp rolls around, it obviously isn't "mandatory" for him; he won't officially be on the roster.

But his absence would make a statement.

"It's really not a route I thought I'd ever take because it's not me," he told ESPN. "I feel like it's just kind of been the spot I've been put in."

Welker joined SportsCenter on Tuesday and said that "negotiations have kind of stopped at the franchise tender, and we havent really spoken since then."

He understands why. With the draft coming up, Welker knows that Bill Belichick is focused on other things.

"Im sure with the draft and everything else, theres a lot of other things that kind of take place," Welker said. "And you know how coach Belichick works . . . right now hes in draft mode. And Im sure after the draft, you know, hopefully were able to come together and hopefully figure something out."

Patriots-Falcons injury report: Gilmore, Rowe out

patriots_texans_stephon_gilmore_2_092417.jpg

Patriots-Falcons injury report: Gilmore, Rowe out

As expected, after not practicing all week, Patriots cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (concussion) and Eric Rowe (groin) have been ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

The full Patriots and Falcons injury report:

Tom Brady: Injuries like his, Gordon Hayward's 'big reality check for all of us'

patriots_tom_brady_3_112016.jpg

Tom Brady: Injuries like his, Gordon Hayward's 'big reality check for all of us'

FOXBORO — You’d have to go back to 2008 to find the last “you’ve got to be kidding me” injury to open a Boston season before Gordon Hayward. 

That injury, of course, was the torn ACL suffered by Brady on a hit to the left leg from Bernard Pollard with 7:27 left in the first quarter of Week 1. Brady missed the rest of the season and the Pats went on to miss the playoffs despite going 11-5 under Matt Cassel. 

MORE:

Brady, who reached out to Aaron Rodgers last Sunday after the Packers quarterback was lost for the season, said he felt for Hayward after the Celtics’ key free agent acquisition suffered a fracture-dislocation of his left ankle 5:15 into the season opener against the Cavaliers Tuesday.

“It’s just a big reality check for all of us because we all think we’re invincible to some degree, and then you go and you have this really tough injury that just happens,” Brady said. “It is tough and everyone probably goes through something a little different or it hits them at different times, and I feel bad for [Hayward and Rodgers], but I’m sure they’ll both come back stronger and better than ever. 

“That’s what you have to do as an athlete. You’re always faced with adversities and you’ve got to overcome them. Mental toughness is a big part of that. I know both those players have a lot of that.”