2012 Free Agency: Welker Negotiations Are Showing Signs of Optimism

Pranav Tadikonda@@pranavtadikondaCorrespondent IMay 14, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the second half of New England's 27-24 win at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Wes Welker has certainly been cryptic in expressing his feelings about his contract status with the New England Patriots.

The 31-year-old star receiver for the Patriots, who was given the team's franchise tag just before the deadline, said last month that he was contemplating a holdout. He said this about the idea:

"I just feel that this was the best, really the only, leverage I had is to take this route. It’s not a route I thought I’d ever take, just because that’s not me. It’s just kind of the spot I’ve been put in."

However, it seems like Welker has been moving slightly in the other direction. In an interview with WEEI Sports, Welker said the following:

"I think we're still kind of waiting, but I'd really like to be there [at mandatory mini-camps]. I don't know. To say I'm going one way or another right now, I'm not going to say it's definite or anything like that, but I would definitely like to be at those mini-camps for sure."

Welker also said that "there are 9.5 million reasons why I wouldn't miss any regular season games," referring to the $9.5 million that he would receive if he signed his tender.

It appears that Welker will not miss any games, but whether or not he reports to mandatory workouts remains to be seen. The Pats wideout hinted about where he and the Patriots stood on the negotiations.

"I think we're all on the same page and we're all trying to collectively come together and make something happen."

Welker caught 122 passes for 1,569 yards and nine touchdowns last year. 

It seems clear that both the New England organization and Welker would both want to get a deal done as fast as they can. 

Things are looking up for the Patriots.