Willie McGinest was rather outspoken about Wes Welker‘s contract issues last month, ripping the Patriots receiver for his “diva attitude” during a television appearance.
The two then traded a few shots via Twitter, but there doesn’t seem to be any ill will, as McGinest told the Boston Herald that he has a lot of respect for Welker.
“I’m cool with Wes. I never had a problem with him in the beginning. I was just trying to give him the blueprint of how things go down [in Foxboro],” McGinest reportedly said. “If you’re franchised, and you have a chance to make $9.5 million, grab it. It’s more than half of your last contract. If they want to franchise you again next year, that number goes up. That’s $20 million in two years. That’s quarterback money.”
McGinest’s initial outburst against Welker came after the receiver discussed potentially skipping New England’s mandatory workouts. The former Patriot and current NFL Network analyst took a jab at Welker’s comments — as well as his leopard print boots — and said that it was time for the veteran wideout to “get back to work.”
Welker has since signed New England’s franchise tender, and the 31-year-old said that he doesn’t anticipate that the upcoming season will be his last in New England. McGinest told the Boston Herald that he actually made peace with Welker before he decided to sign the tender.
McGinest also said during his April rant about Welker that Welker’s success was due in large part to Tom Brady and the Patriots’ system, pointing to the receiver’s history before arriving in New England as proof.
McGinest apparently wasn’t looking to take anything away from what Welker has done in a Pats uniform, though.
“I have a lot of respect for Wes. I like what he did when he came to the Patriots. But you just have to look at the big picture,” McGinest reportedly said last week. “You have to put in all the intangibles, and all the things around you, and look at what created that success. You have to look at what the market is, what other teams are going to pay, what else is out there.”
Welker is slated to make $9.515 million this season as a result of signing the franchise tender. The hope, however, is that a long-term deal will get done.
Welker had 122 catches for 1,569 yards and nine touchdowns during the 2011 season.