Still all quiet on the Welker franchise front

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Still all quiet on the Welker franchise front

Big plans for this weekend? Maybe going to the Cape. Maybe mowing the lawn, painting the deck. Sweating out the NFL franchise deadline, perhaps.

Wes Welker and the Patriots have until 4 p.m. Monday before a contract decision must be made.

And it sounds like this one will come down to the wire.

According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, zero progress has been made on settling Welker's future in New England.

"A source with knowledge of the Patriots' talks with receiver Wes Welker put it at "5050" whether they can reach a deal," La Canfora wrote Thursday night. "They still have a pretty significant gap in terms of guaranteed money to bridge."

The report is, essentially, no different from the "complete and utter limbo" Tom Curran described to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio on Monday.

But be clear on one point while waiting:

"Welker's not concerned about contract length -- he's concerned about value," Curran told Florio. "He basically wants to be paid the franchise tag for two season and just have the guarantee that if he blows himself up in 2012, he'll have that money in 2013.

"So, it's not a three-year deal he's looking for, it's not a five-year deal he's looking for; he just wants to get two years with an option for a third and get around 21 million dollars -- 9.5 this year, 11.6 next year."

Florio agreed, saying it makes fiscal sense for the Patriots if Welker takes the tag price now. If he has another great year in 2012, then he can get receiver tag again next season. That way the Patriots are protected from injury or decline in performance.

We'll find out soon enough if the team is willing to sacrifice that self-preservation in favor of 'doing right' by Welker -- a guy who has 554 receptions for 6,105 yards and 31 touchdowns in five years of service. And all for just 18 million.

Tick-tock.