I haven’t hidden my disdain for the Patriots’ decision to move on from Wes Welker, and begin the Danny Amendola era. My hate grew further late last week when Jason La Canfora reported that in truth only $6 million of Welker’s new contract with Denver is guaranteed, and zero dimes of his 2014 salary are included in his overall guaranteed cash.

The total figure Welker agreed to was a two-year contract worth $12 million. Meanwhile, Amendola and his brittle skeleton signed on for $10 million guaranteed in New England. So please explain yourself, Bob Kraft. Were you simply chasing youth and willing to forsake the final years of Welker’s productivity?

Well, no. During a press conference this afternoon at the owner’s meetings Kraft was quite candid. Some would say historically candid even as he went through his front office’s thinking which led to Welker in Denver.

I’ll hand the floor to Peter Schrager, the Fox Sports writer who was in attendance.

OK then, Bobby. But how badly did you want him?

It’s been widely reported that the Patriots’ deal with Amendola was actually completed before Welker’s deal with Denver. Once it became clear that Welker was headed elsewhere, New England’s efforts to secure Amendola intensified, but their contract with him didn’t surface through media reports until after Welker’s was annouced. Follow? Good.

Next question: exactly how badly did you want Welker?

This had also been widely reported, and Kraft’s comment confirms that as far as the overall base salary is concerned, the gap was indeed $2 million (or was it really? more below, sort of).

They could, but in a sense they just didn’t want to. Welker will average $6 million annually during the life of his contract, while Amendola (whose deal is worth $28.5 million over five years) will average $5.7 million. In the NFL, the gap between those two numbers is pocket change in a couch that was fished from the dump, and it’s now been in your garage for years.

However, Kraft also added that of the $10 million the Patriots offered Welker, he would get $8 million in just the first year. That’s a generous and heavily front-end loaded deal, and it hints strongly at the possibility of Denver (or at the time, Team X) cutting the aging receiver after one season if he performs below expectations. Indeed, Kraft talked about that possibility, and if it happens the Patriots’ offer would look quite reasonable.

Actually, more than reasonable, assuming Kraft was spewing truth and not spin. For a player of Welker’s vintage, the New England contract was better given the inherent risk associated with any contract signed by an aging receiver.

Yet Welker chased the greater base salary, and to Kraft that means his slimy agents did their job, and did it well. He’s not wrong, even if he won’t go into specifics:

“I’m not going to go into it. It was a substantial gap, way beyond. If he had come to us and said ‘the gap was the $2 million’ – which on the surface everyone believes that’s what it is – that would have been closed in a second. I really think, and I’m not saying … he has a great agent but I think they way overvalued; as they should. Their incentive – they don’t really care about the New England Patriots. They care about getting the best financial deal for their client they can get. I understand that. Their compensation is based on that and they want to attract other clients. In the end, our job is to look out to put the New England Patriots in the best position to win continuously.”

We can’t elaborate much on the finances specifically if Kraft isn’t willing to elaborate (the apparent $2 million gap). But what we can glean from this is the essence and very core of the Patriot Way: a number was established, and it wasn’t exceeded. Emotion was completely eliminated.

Love it or loathe it, they’ve won championships with simplicity, and they’ve won many games and advanced deep into the playoffs. Over and over again.