|Wes Welker on leaving Patriots: ‘The hardest part was leaving Tom’||03.14.13 at 6:09 pm ET|
In his introductory press conference in Denver with the Broncos Thursday afternoon, Wes Welker took some time out to thank the Patriots everything they did for him over the last six seasons.
“I’d definitely like to thank New England for the six years there and all the trust and everything they put in me — the opportunities I got. But I’m looking forward to being a Denver Bronco, trying to help this team win, playing with Peyton, good receivers and a good offense,” Welker said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
One day after agreeing to a two-year, $12 million deal with the Broncos, Welker talked about a variety of topics in his Q&A with the media, including the fact that he had to sell himself to Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway. He also said that even though he feels he left on good terms, he added, “as free agency went on, you kind of got the feeling to start looking for other opportunities.”
Welker said the hardest thing was to leave quarterback Tom Brady.
“That was definitely probably the hardest part, was leaving Tom,” Welker said of his relationship with the quarterback. “He’s a great competitor, a great player. A great friend across the board, so I wish the best to him.”
It was widely believed that Brady restructured his own contract in hopes of the team keeping Welker. He was asked if he though he had a better shot at returning after the quarterback re-did his deal.
“Yeah, you never know with those deals,” Welker said. “You just try not to think about it too much. You just try to focus on you. For me, it was just working out and getting ready for next year — trying not to worry about all of that.”
Based on how the talks broke down between his camp and the Patriots, did he feel underappreciated at all?
“I think that’s all relative,” Welker said. “I’m a Denver Bronco now, and I’m excited about it. I’m really not looking in the past on it, just looking forward.”
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