Wes Welker signed the $9.5 million franchise tender the Patriots offered him, but that doesn't mean New England's best wide receiver isn't hoping for a new contract before the next NFL season gets going.
Looming over any deal, though, are the ill effects of Super Bowl XLVI. The Patriots lost to the Giants in the big game again last February, and this time many were pointing the blame at Welker, who dropped a key pass.
Bill Belichick — the great hooded coach — has shown that he can win Super Bowls, but he's never done it with an uber-powerful offense, like what the Patriots have now with Welker. So, before Welker and fans start thinking that the team must fork over some cash to keep Welker around, they must remember that the winning bus has arrived at its destination without Welker before, and it can get there again.