REPORT: Patriots Welker Headed to Free Agency

Ian Logue
March 06, 2013 at 11:05am ET

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Despite a report earlier this week that Wes Welker and the Patriots were making progress toward an extension, Adam Schefter reports that it appears the veteran receiver has decided to test the free agent market.

It appears Wes Welker is going to test the free agent market. (FILE:USPresswire)

So far according to several reports the issue still seems to be related to the guaranteed money in the potential deal that's trying to be ironed out with New England.  One source with a passing understanding of the receiver's told Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports,  "You can sign a $40 million contract, but you might only make 70 percent of it. Is that better than signing a $30 million contract that you make 100 percent of?"

Cole also writes that Welker has a "mild disdain" for the team, with his limited targets at the beginning of last season reportedly souring his feelings toward the organization.

Now it  seems Welker may be interested in finding out what he can get on the open market and that could be bad news for the Patriots.  Welker's unique ability to get open as well as his track record of durability will likely cause someone to spend the money to bring in a reliable veteran who is also a leader on the field.

Should New England lose him, that really would put them in a tough situation.   So far it sounds as if Brandon Lloyd may not return next season and should they lose Welker, that would mean that the two players who accounted for 192 of Tom Brady's 402 completions last season, as well as 2457 of his 4844 yards (approximately half of the Patriots passing total) would be gone.

We know he loves playing with Brady and we also know what he means to this football team.  Now the big question is can they finally bridge the financial gap to keep him here for the foreseeable future?

There's no question he'll make another team better, although he may not be as productive with another quarterback. If he finishes his career here, as Cole mentions in his article there's his legacy to consider and with that comes the amount of money he could make after his career comes to an end if he remains in New England.

For now it seems they're at a stalemate, which means we'll have to simply sit back and see how things play out in the coming weeks.