ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that free agent WR Wes Welker has no plans to re-sign with the Patriots before first testing the free-agent market next week.
Jeff Howe adds that a source with knowledge of the negotiations has informed him that nothing is imminent between the two sides.
ESPN’s Ed Werder reported on Tuesday that Welker is expected to have “minimal” suitors on the open market.
We have Welker listed as the No. 4 best available free agent in our recently updated Top 50 Free Agents list.
Giardi adds that an NFL source has informed him that the two sides are hoping to have an agreement in place before the start of free agency on March 12.
The source added that New England and Welker agree that they’re better off with one another than without.
Welker was reportedly “miffed” by the Patriots decision to play Julian Edelman over him in the opening game of the season. Another issue for Welker is the belief that had Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski not gotten hurt last year, Welker may have seen a reduced role in their offense.
There have been several reports that have suggested that the two sides are getting close to reaching an agreement on a three-year contract extension.
Cole adds that Welker is going to have to decide whether it’s better to try to maximize what’s likely to be his last shot at securing a big contract, or return to New England and get paid less, but maintain his productive role.
ESPN’s Ed Werder reported on Tuesday’s SportsCenter that Welker would have “minimal” suitors on the open market.
“People I’ve talked to around the league think that the Patriots have made a wise move here,” said Werder, via Rotoworld.com. “That there’s not gonna be a huge demand on the market for Wes Welker. He’ll get a minimal number of teams interested in him and probably be no more valuable to anybody than he is to Tom Brady. … I think Welker’s gonna in all likelihood return (to Foxboro).”
Welker, 31, is coming off of another productive season for the Patriots, but it’s hard to say how long he’ll be able to continue playing at this level. It seems highly unlikely that the Patriots are going to over pay for him, but it’s also unlikely that Welker will be able to replicate his performance for another team.