Sources close to the situation are saying that the New England Patriots and star wide receiver Wes Welker, who was hit with the franchise tag, will not likely come together on a long-term extension before Monday’s deadline. Should the two not agree on a deal, Welker will make around $9 million in 2012.
Mike Weiss of ESPN is saying the two are far off in terms of both guaranteed money and contract structure. Both sides want a deal done, and even if Welker becomes a free agent again next season, I would be surprised to see him go anywhere else.
“Welker seems to want to be in New England, where his skills are a perfect fit for the offense. And the Patriots seem to want him back, with Tom Brady calling him the ‘heart and soul’ of the team last year. Doesn’t seem like it should be this hard.”
If the two do not come to an agreement at some point this season, James Walker of ESPN believes the future would be bleak for Welker on the Patriots. I disagree, but here is what Walker had to say.
“[W]hat happens in 2013 between Welker and the Patriots does not look good. The franchise price tag will increase next year to the point where the Patriots wouldn’t pay it. It also appears less likely New England would provide a long-term extension to Welker at 32, when the team isn’t expected to do the same a year earlier.”
Granted the Patriots would not give Welker a long-term deal at 32, but that doesn’t mean they won’t lock him up for two to three years. Welker is a team guy, and I doubt he would expect the Patriots to give him a five or six year deal when he’s on the back nine of his career.
Jeff is an NFL Featured Columnist for RantSports.com. He contributes mainly to the New York Giants and NFL Rumors pages. He also will occasionally touch on the NBA and humorous videos involving all sports.
Follow Jeff on Twitter @Jeff_Shull