The Patriots and Welker are still hoping to work out a long-term contract extension. They have until July 16 to negotiate a deal under NFL rules governing franchise players.
Welker led the league with 122 receptions last season, ranking second in receiving yards with 1,569 behind Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson
“Wes Welker is a remarkable football player for our team and has been a vital component to our offense and special teams since we traded for him in 2007," the Patriots said in a statement when they franchised Welker earlier this year. "Utilizing the franchise designation allows both sides more time to try to reach an agreement, which is the goal. Wes remains a contractual priority and we are hopeful that he will remain a Patriot for years to come.”
During his time with the Patriots, Welker has caught 554 passes for 6,105 yards and 31 touchdowns.
The Patriots want to lock up Welker with a long-term deal. Welker made $2.5 million last season.
Welker caught 123 passes in 2009.
Only Welker and former NFL wide receiver Cris Carter have generated two seasons with 120 receptions or higher.
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