After conflicting reports involving Wes Welker’s contract talks with the New England Patriots, it appears the veteran wide receiver is set to test free agency according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter via Twitter:
Patriots free-agent WR Wes Welker has no plans to re-sign with New England before first testing the free-agent market next week.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 6, 2013
On Tuesday, reports surfaced of Welker nearing a deal with the Patriots after countless negotiations with the team to stay in New England long-term. It seemed to be only a matter of time before Welker would sign the extension and potentially remain with the team for the rest of his career or at least for the rest of Tom Brady’s career in New England.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, a new deal has been unable to be agreed upon with Welker having no intention to re-sign with the team before hitting the NFL free agent market on March 12.
Welker appears to have grown tired of the endless negotiations with the Patriots after an impressive and historic run with the team over the past six years. The perennial Pro Bowler has caught at least 111 passes or more in five of the last six seasons which makes him the first player in NFL history to accomplish such a feat.
Unlike other free agents set to hit the open market next week, Welker is one of the few that truly has the body of work to merit a lucrative long-term deal. Welker has been extremely productive during his time in New England and will likely continue to be if able to land in a similar situation elsewhere. Brady’s presence under center has definitely been one of the main reasons for Welker’s success, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that success can’t be duplicated with another team next season or for the foreseeable future.