Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald writes that, barring “unexpected turn,” negotiations between the Patriots and WR Wes Welker will most likely not result in a long-term contract extension before Monday’s deadline.
There have been reports that have suggested that progress is being made, but then there have been others that maintain the two sides are sill $6 million apart in guaranteed money. It really looks like the deadline will pass without a new deal in place for Welker who will then be in a position to leave New England following the 2012 season.
We have Welker listed as the No. 15 best available free agent in our Top 50 Free Agents list.
Mike Florio of NBC Sports reports that Welker and the Patriots remain far apart, both “literally and philosophically.” If Welker and the Patriots can’t agree on a new contract, Welker will play out the season under the Franchise Tag. Florio’s source says that there may not even be much discussion this week between the two camps. The deadline to reach a long-term contract agreement is July 16.
Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe reports that a league source mentioned that both the Patriots and WR Wes Welker are “working hard” to get a long-term contract in place before next week deadline to negotiate with franchised players.
The two sides are reportedly $6 million in guaranteed money apart from completing a deal, so there’s still plenty of work to be done in the coming days. As of now, the issue looks to be related to the third year of his contract.
This is obviously a step in the right direction, as it really seemed like the Patriots would allow Welker to walk following the upcoming season.
This comes just after Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that he didn’t “sense any real motivation” from the Patriots to sign Welker to a long-term deal.
Welker is set to make $9.515 million after receiving the Patriots franchise tag back in March. New England would have to pay him a 20 percent increase next year if they choose to tag him for the second consecutive year, so I’m sure that Welker’s agent is using some of these figures to determine the total amount of guaranteed cash included in the deal.
The Patriots have been known to part with players before they’ve started to decline, so there’s no guarantee that Welker will be locked up before the July 16th deadline or even during the offseason next year, considering that $6 million is still a huge gap.