< Back to front page Text size +

Patriots, Wes Welker fail to reach new deal

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  July 16, 2012 04:45 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

The NFL-mandated 4 p.m. deadline for teams to come to a long-term extension with franchised players has come and gone, and the Patriots and receiver Wes Welker were unable to agree to a new deal, a league source confirmed with colleague Greg A. Bedard.

As the Globe reported last Monday, the sticking point between the two sides was the Patriots' reluctance to give Welker a third year on a deal and how to structure a potential third year.

This means Welker will play the 2012 season under his franchise tag, which this year for receivers is $9.515 million.

There are now three options for Welker, who will almost certainly set a franchise record for receptions this season, and New England. He and the team can re-open talks once the 2012 season is over, the Patriots can franchise him again for '13, at a cost of more than $11 million (120 percent of his 2012 salary), or Welker can become a free agent.

Welker signed his one-year franchise tender in May and said he hoped it would lead to the team extending him on a long-term deal. But NFL rules prohibit franchise players from negotiating for a long-term deal after Monday’s deadline.

Welker, 31, caught 122 passes last year and has caught an NFL-high 554 passes since joining the Patriots in 2007.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

NFL video

Watch Patriots analysis and commentary by CineSport

browse this blog

by category
archives