Wes Welker has already signed his franchise tender, assuring him of 9.515 million dollars this season. However, he and the Patriots are not close on a long term contract. According to Welker, after he signed his tender, things got worse as the Patriots offered him a contract worse than the 2 year, 16 million dollar deal he was offered during last season. The Patriots are playing hardball with Welker as he heads into his age 31 season, knowing that Welker’s best days could be behind him and that a lot of his production is the product of the system and his quarterback.
Pro Football Talk describes negotiations as “literally and philosophically” far apart with just 6 days left before the deadline for franchise players to sign a long term deal. The two sides are currently working on a 3 year deal, but they are at least 6 million dollars apart and disagree on how to structure the 3rd year of the deal. Welker knows how much better his career is with Brady throwing to him in New England so he may cave before the deadline.
If Welker does not agree to a long term deal, don’t be shocked by the Patriots trade him. They have decent receiver depth and have done shocking things like that before. They’d be selling high and he’d become a free agent after next season. The Patriots wouldn’t want to receive nothing in return for him. They’ve run that risk as the franchise tag value for Welker for 2013 would be around 11.5 million, far too rich for a 32 year old receiver.