Report: Welker Deal Unlikely
Wes Welker (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
By TSX

Posted Jul 16, 2012


Will the Patriots lock up Wes Welker for the long haul? That's been the top question during the offseason, and the answer is almost here. The team has until 4pm Monday to get a longer term deal done, or they'll have to wait till after the season as Welker plays out the year under the Franchise tag.

Report: Patriots unlikely to sign Welker to extension

With the clocking ticking on franchise-tagged players getting long-term contracts, Wes Welker reportedly will not get more than the franchise-tender deal he has signed with the New England Patriots.

The Patriots and the Pro Bowl wide receiver's agent have not had active talks as of Saturday night and it is unlikely they can agree to a long-term contract by Monday's 4 p.m. ET deadline, sources told ESPN.com.

The source was cautious, but called it a surprise if the sides could hammer out an extension by then. The lack of urgency has been obvious as the team signed tight end Rob Gronkowski this season while Welker was in limbo.

By NFL rules, franchise-tagged players have until Monday's deadline to agree to a new deal or they play this season for the one-year tender, which is the average of the top five players at his position.

That is a $9.5 million contract, which Welker has signed. If they miss Monday's deadline, he and the Patriots cannot agree to a long-term deal until after the season, when he becomes a free agent.

Welker, 31, was declared the team's franchise player in February when the Patriots could not work out a long-term deal. Last season, he had a career-high 1,569 receiving yards with nine touchdowns. He has more catches (554) than any other NFL receiver since 2007.

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