Pats owner Bob Kraft said on Monday at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona that the Pats absolutely wanted Welker back and that their offer was "better than what he got in Denver."
That statement was part of a lengthy and borderline emotional statement from Kraft when asked about Welker's departure from New England. It was a strange scene indeed, with the Pats owner clearly upset by not just Welker's departure but the way it was portrayed in the media.
"We usually don't talk about contracts, but I'd like to clear up what I think are some misconceptions about the Wes situation," Kraft said. "I'll go into limited financial details -- but everyone in our organization wanted Wes Welker back. And anyone who doubts that or doesn't think we're serious just doesn't get it."
Kraft cited the two-year deal that Welker received in Denver and specifically compared the financials that Welker received from Denver against the last offer that New England had on the table.
"I really believe in this case his agents misrepresented in their mind what his market value was," Kraft said. "It comes right down to the bottom line. He accepted a deal in Denver which was less than what we offered him. Because in fact he has a one-year deal in Denver for $6 million. Our last offer before we thought we were going into free agency was a $10 million offer with incentives that would've earned him another $6 million if he performed the way he has the previous two years.
"But in Denver he's going to count $4 million against the cap the first year and $8 million the second year and there's no guarantee he plays the second year. So he will get $6 million the first year. Our deal he would've gotten $8 million the first year, with our last offer to him."