Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Sunday night’s AFC Championship Game was bad enough. Now, on top of that mess, the Patriots are dealing with all the questions that come as a season ends — and even some about what will happen before next season begins. One of the major questions for New England this offseason will be what will happen with Wes Welker. The valuable slot receiver has failed to come to a long-term contract with the team before, and the drawn-out negotiations that ended with him taking the franchise tag for this year are expected to culminate again sometime soon. New England owner Robert Kraft has said he wants Welker to be a Patriot for life, and coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have never been shy about singing Welker’s praises for what he contributes to both the offense and the team. What that means, contract-wise, is still in question, but Brady used his Monday morning appearance on Dennis and Callahan on WEEI to emphasize again what he thinks about Welker. “I think those business parts of the game, those usually take care of themselves. Certainly I’m not involved in any of those,” Brady said when asked about Welker’s contract situation. “Everyone knows how I feel about Wes. Our whole team feels that way about Wes. He’s one of the best players I’ve played with and played against. He’s just a phenomenal player. “He’s been the heart and soul of what our team’s all about. He’s been so selfless. The way that he carries himself and commits himself to help our team win, it’s second to none. But like I said, those aren’t my decisions. … To me, it’s still too early to think about the offseason. This is going to be tough to get over for quite a while.” Welker had another great game Sunday night, catching eight passes for 117 yards. He was once again right in the mix when the Patriots needed him most, converting on key downs and bouncing up after big hits against a physical Ravens team. The strong championship game showing came after an eight-catch, 131-yard week against the Texans, which capped a regular season with 118 receptions and 1,354 yards. Welker has gone over 1,000 yards five times in six seasons in New England, and he holds the team record for catches. Brady also talked about Welker’s durability in the game, and where the Patriots failed to hold their own against the Ravens. He gave his assessment of the team’s missed opportunity at the end of the first half, when the Patriots failed to do more than score a field goal as the clock was winding down. Overall, Brady’s view of the game was close to what most Patriots supporters were thinking. “We’re capable of playing so well, but we just weren’t able to do it yesterday,” he said. “It’s just a bad night to have a bad night.” The Patriots have a chance to avoid a bad offseason starting now.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pacquiao knocks down Algieri six times in easy win

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

Eric Decker: It's tough watching Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Semaje Perine breaks Melvin Gordon's rushing record

Report: Chip Kelly, Eagles GM not seeing eye-to-eye

Pete Carroll open to playing Richard Sherman at WR

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled for so long'

Red Sox have best offer on table for Pablo Sandoval?

LeBron: Kevin Love will get the ball 'if he demands it'

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

Sager makes first appearance since leukemia diagnosis

Harvard kicker wears glasses

WATCH: Tennessee fans go a little overboard celebrating TD

Dwight Howard out indefinitely after having PRP on knee

Report: Mike Gundy pursuing Florida job

WATCH: Jameis Winston gets away with shoving an official

WATCH: Georgia's Chris Conley makes diving TD catch

WATCH: Nebraska blocks field goal, returns it for TD

Florida DL shows support for Will Muschamp with eye black

WATCH: Javale McGee kisses elderly fan sitting courtside

WATCH: Tim Tebow busts out a brief Steve Spurrier impression

Patriots News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Bills-Jets game will be free admission

Pete Carroll: Lynch is 'our guy'

Which NFL team will get the #1 pick?

Game of the week: Patriots vs. Lions

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.