Sources: Wes Welker, Patriots Still Not Close on Contract Extension, July 15 Is Key Deadline for Negotiations

Sources: Wes Welker, Patriots Still Not Close on Contract Extension, July 15 Is Key Deadline for NegotiationsWes Welker and the Patriots still don’t appear to be close to a contract extension, according to a source.

And really, as a source indicated, the only “urgency” to complete an extension will be in time for July 15, which is the deadline for all franchise players to sign a long-term deal. If a contract isn’t reached at that point, it will have to wait until after the 2012 season.

Welker told WEEI on Monday that he wouldn’t miss any games in 2012 due to contractual issues, which NESN.com has been reporting throughout the offseason.

Welker hasn’t committed to whether or not he’ll attend the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp June 12-14. He has publicly stated he doesn’t need a contract extension in order to report to camp, and he can simply sign his franchise tender before showing up.

But Welker wants a long-term deal, and when the Patriots placed the franchise tag on him, they released a statement saying that’s their goal, too.

The Patriots and Welker have two months to reach that desired destination. Since the two sides want it to happen, it would make sense for it to get done, particularly considering how well they’ve worked together on the field since 2007.

Yet, as the days go by without much progress, the possibility clearly exists that nothing will happen by July 15. As a source said, just because the urgency is there, it “still doesn’t mean there will be [a contract extension in place by] then.”

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