Tedy Bruschi has seen the way the Patriots operate. He personally witnessed their stance of not paying a veteran more than they think he’s worth, and he knows that New England is among the best in the business at sticking to the plan.
But some parts of the negotiations that ended with Wes Welker heading to Denver surprised even him.
“I was very surprised at the detail, very surprised at the emotion [Patriots owner Robert Kraft] was exuding as he talked about it,” Bruschi said on ESPN’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Wednesday, of Kraft speaking publicly about the Welker negotiations. “He actually brought up numbers — millions of dollars, eight here, six there, contract details, and that’s not really what the Patriots do. To see him talk so openly about it, I was surprised.
“It almost makes me think how emotionally involved Mr. Kraft got into this one, maybe a little bit more than other negotiations. Very surprised by how candid he was and how much information he gave.”
Bruschi, as a former player, acknowledged that it’s always hard to come up against a team that is trying to stay financially in line.
“Emotionally, you disagree with it,” he said. “But my sense of logic says that’s the way it has to be.”
He said he understands what the Patriots felt they had to do with Welker, especially with Welker getting up in years. But he was also among those saying that, while it may be a good business decision, it’s still going to hurt — and especially for the guy throwing the passes.
“Tom Brady is an emotional person, too, and I think he’s going to miss Wes,” Bruschi said. “Wes was a good friend of his. His first choice, just like Mr. Kraft said, would have been Wes Welker. But the agreement couldn’t be struck. I think Tom is going to miss [him] in that offense, especially if [Danny] Amendola can’t stay healthy.
“[Rob] Gronkowski has been out in the postseason. [Aaron] Hernandez has been hurt. It’s like, ‘Who’s reliable?’ Welker was durable. Welker was reliable. How many times did he take a hit and get up?”
That’s what a lot of football people are thinking, former Patriots or not.