Welker extension talks could happen this week


Welker extension talks could happen this week

PALM BEACH -- Wes Welker hasn't made a peep about his future plans since March 5.

That was the day the Patriots franchised him. The wideout tweeted that he was "glad" to be a Patriot in 2012 and indicated he hoped it stretched further than that.

So far, though, that's where it sits. Welker hasn't signed his franchise tender which will pay him about 9.5 million in 2012 and the Patriots -- who have until July 15 to extend him a new deal for 2012 -- haven't moved forward with a new offer.

Sunday at the league meetings, Welker's agent David Dunn said there was nothing new to report.

With Dunn at The Breakers and the Patriots' brass here is well, this is the best chance for the sides to meet face-to-face.

Given the money foisted upon wideouts since the start of free agency, the fact New England gets Welker on a one-year deal for less than 10 million is cost effective.

Welker, of course, would like the security of a multi-year deal and the payout that would come with whatever guaranteed money was included.

The Patriots' multi-year offer last fall was reportedly worth 16 million over two years and guaranteed.

Contract length is not as big a sticking point as total value and amount paid in the first two years.

If Welker is franchised next season as well, he'll make close to 11 million on the tag. The two years at more than 20 million is presumably much closer to what the wideout would be looking for.

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable


Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:


WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)


TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)