According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, there’s still a chance teh New England Patriots could sign wide receiver Wes Welker to a contract extension and keep him from hitting the free agent market.
Easily the most productive NFL receiver over the past several years, he’s a first-down machine. He’s also, however, a slot receiver, and he’s a little older, making it tougher for him to be paid like an elite pass-catcher. The Patriots won’t apply the franchise tag to him, we know that. And yet … Albert Breer and I have both heard that we can’t rule out a long-term extension being reached before Welker hits free agency. The door is still open for him to get his money and retire a Patriot. What would a deal look like? In my mind — just trying to gain an understanding of the market — if Welker can get a five-year deal worth more than $8 million per year, that’d be impressive. It just makes too much sense for both sides to get something done. If you have the best slot receiver in the game, and he’s also one of Tom Brady’s best weapons, how can you let him leave?
Now that the Patriots have extended quarterback Tom Brady through 2017 with a contract that’s extremely cap friendly, I think there’s a really good chance Welker will be back in New England.