ESPN’s James Walker writes that “it appears it’s either a multi-year extension or bust” for the Patriots and WR Wes Welker now that he’s to become an unrestricted free agent for the second season in a row.
Walker notes that the Patriots would have to be willing pay Welker $11.4 million to use their franchise tag on him in the coming months.
New England could have as much as $18.6 million in cap space to work with this offseason, but it would undoubtedly make it pretty hard to keep some of their 31 soon-to-be free agents who’s contracts will need to be addressed.
It’s hard to imagine the Patriots signing Welker to a long-term deal either because he’ll turn 32 in May, but Welker has proven his worth during his time in New England, so it’s not as though this is going to be an easy decision to make.
Tom Brady showed his support for Welker following the game, but the decision will ultimately be made by head coach Bill Belichick and his staff.
We have Welker listed as the No. 7 best available player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.