Wes Welker has spent his off-season clamoring for a long term contract. The Patriots responded to his requests by bringing in a group of free agent Wide Receivers including underrated veteran Brandon Lloyd.

Not exactly what you want to see if you’re in Welker’s position. Last month he told the NFL Network he was in no rush to sign his $9.515 million franchise tender.

Yesterday on Boston radio station WEEI, Welker appeared to backtrack on his earlier comments – stating there were 9.5 million reasons why he wouldn’t miss any regular-season games.

Which leads us to today’s unsurprising news:

Few Wide Receivers have matched Welker’s level of production during the last five years. Based on previous contract negotiations it seems the Patriots believe anyone on the team is replaceable outside of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick – their continued success shows us they aren’t wrong. Now that Welker has signed the tender New England has no impetus to get a new deal done.

Welker’s leap of faith – this isn’t the first, he rushed back from ACL surgery in 2010 – may end up costing the Wide Reciever in the long run.