After six years, 672 receptions and 81 victories, including the postseason of course, this seemingly perfect pairing may be headed for a mutual parting of the ways.
Welker wants to be paid like one of the NFL’s best receivers, which he has proven to be over the past six seasons. The Patriots, on the other hand, see his age (32), size (5-foot-9, 185 pounds) and position as a slot receiver as deterrents from paying him the $9 million-plus he is likely seeking.
The two sides went through a similar game of tug-of-war last offseason, when the Patriots placed the franchise tag on Welker and he took a “leap of faith” in signing the $9.6 million tender. This time around, the Patriots decided against hitting Welker with another tag and instead decided to try and work out a long-term deal.
The Patriots can still work out a deal with the receiver before the start of free agency on March 12, or even after the market opens up. But the lingering question on every Patriots fans mind is: will they?