It was music to Patriots’ fans ears when franchise player Wes Welker announced today that he would not hold out into the regular season, saying he has “9.5 million reasons” why he won’t miss any regular season games. The 9.5 million refers to the franchise tender value that he is guaranteed this season. Welker has expressed the desire to get a long term deal and remain a Patriot for life, but the Patriots habitually play hardball with these types of negotiations. Welker has not ruled out skipping OTAs and minicamps, but he will not miss any games.
The biggest concern with him is a long off-season holdout where he gets out of shape. Darrelle Revis and Chris Johnson have had down seasons in the last 2 years respectively after skipping most of the offseason workouts. However, if Welker is willing to rule out skipping games as early as now, I doubt this holdout lasts very long. There’s also a very good chance that Welker is extended by the July 16th deadline for franchise players to be extended.