The New England Patriots and wide receiver Wes Welker still remain far apart in discussions towards a long-term contract. Per the Boston Globe, the two sides remain at least $6 million apart in the talks. Welker and the Pats only have one week remaining before the 4:00 pm deadline on July 16th to get a long-term deal done.
If no long-term deal is done, Welker would have to play the 2012 season under his $9.515 million franchise tag.
All signs seem to point towards the two sides not getting a deal done. The Patriots want Welker to take a discounted pay in order to remain with the team and quarterback Tom Brady, but Welker believes he is still work top dollar despite his decline towards the end of last season and his age.
New England is likely more concerned with signing tight end Aaron Hernandez, who’s contract expires after this season, to a long-term deal rather than Welker.
Tying up too much money in Welker would hurt the team’s chances of giving the young tight end the contract he deserves.
The harsh reality is that Welker won’t get the deal he wants, so he needs to accept that and take what the Patriots are offering. Otherwise, he could be looking for a new home next offseason and that isn’t an easy job for an aging receiver who many view as a product of the system he has been playing in.