Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/25/12

While some may handle it better than others, no NFL player likes being hit with the franchise tag. They want long-term security, and in many ways we can’t blame them for that. To this point, Wes Welker has not seemed bothered by the Patriots placing the tag on him, which will pay him $9.5 million next season if a long-term deal cannot be reached. On Tuesday, Welker said he is likely to skip New England’s mandatory minicamp because it is the only “leverage” he has in trying to force the team into giving him a long-term extension. Former Patriot Willie McGinest does not agree with Welker’s approach.

“I just don’t like the diva attitude,” McGinest said on the NFL Network Tuesday. “Let’s keep it real. Prior to the Patriots, this is a guy who played three years, had 96 receptions, never had a 1,000-yard season. …

“This $9 million-plus that they’re offering is half of his last contract. That’s a lot of money. Let’s not forget that they signed Brandon Lloyd, they signed (WR Anthony Gonzalez), they signed (WR Deion) Branch back, they got the two tight ends; they have weapons on that offense. So look, Wes, it’s time to take off the leopard-printed cowboy boots, get off the party tour and get back to work.”

Since he created a Twitter account a few months ago, Welker has had some fun by posting pictures of his girlfriend in bed and posing in NBA-themed cowboy boots. Apparently McGinest thinks he needs to get off all that and get focused.

Willie is right in a way. Welker may need the Patriots as much as they need him — in terms of remaining one of the best receivers in the game. However, there are plenty of teams who would pay him a ton of cash based on what he has accomplished with the Patriots, whether they think Tom Brady is the reason or not.

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