As the Patriots and Wes Welker continue their apparent standoff heading into this afternoon’s start of free agency, Patriots owner Robert Kraft once again voiced his desire for Welker to continue his work in Foxboro.

While participating in an NFL event at Rockefeller Center in New York City yesterday, Kraft was asked by reporters there for his thoughts on Welker.

“We want Wes,” Kraft said, according to the New York Post. “We really do.”

Of course, if the Patriots don’t want Welker enough, he’ll hit free agency today at 4 p.m. Kraft’s comments are like the many he has relayed over the last year and a half, but the timeliness is obvious.

Kraft also said, “I love Wes Welker,” according to ESPN. “I hope he remains a Patriot for life, just like Tom Brady.”

There hasn’t been much new information on the negotiations in recent days. To circle back to everything that’s known, both sides want to remain together. Welker has become the most productive receiver in the game, in terms of receptions, since joining the Pats in 2007, and he has caught more passes from Brady than any player in history. Plus, Brady signed an extension two weeks ago that freed up $8 million in cap room this season, which gave the Patriots $25 million in space to sign or re-sign quality players.