Wes Welker and other franchise players have until 4 p.m. Eastern today to sign a long-term contract, or else they can only play the 2012 season on a one-year deal. We may see a team or two sign its franchise player to a long-term contract today, but the Patriots and Welker appear to be done talking about a contract extension.
Tom Curran of CSNNE.com put it like this: “Talks remain stagnant and by stagnant I mean nonexistent.”
When Welker signed his franchise tender and agreed to play out the year for a $9.5 million salary, he said he was holding out hope that he’d reach an agreement on a long-term contract with the team. But all indications have been that the Patriots aren’t particularly interested in committing a lot of money over a lot of years to the 31-year-old Welker.
So Welker’s contract with the Patriots will go until March, when they’ll either franchise him again and guarantee him a 2013 salary of $11.4 million, or let him become an unrestricted free agent.