The Patriots have until July 16 to give Wes Welker a new deal. As we all know, Welker wants more security than the one-year, 9.515 million franchise tag provides; he wants a long-term contract and the money that goes with it. As we also know, New England can tell the receiver to kick rocks.
Jason La Canfora is leaning toward the latter.
This week, CBSSports.com's NFL analyst rated the likelihood of various tagged players winning their desired deals. La Canfora puts Welker's odds at "Weak."
"I don't sense any real motivation to get this extended," he wrote. "The Patriots seem perfectly fine with the talented, but older, receiver playing out the tag. While Welker, clearly, would like a little more money and security from a longer deal, I don't see it happening now after all this time. He loves being a Patriot and playing with Tom Brady, and the sides could always work out a new deal down the line, and in the meantime he gets roughly 10 million.
"Sources with knowledge of this negotiation have believed for months that Welker would end up playing 2012 on the tag and that became even more clear when he signed it and joined offseason work a while back. It would take a fairly drastic turn of events to get off that track now."
Opinions have varied widely since Welker signed the tag in mid-May. Of course, the only one that matters is held by the Patriots brain trust, and we'll find out what it is in about two weeks.