Wes Welker, Patriots Can't Agree To Contract Before Deadline

Wes Welker and the New England Patriots failed to reach a compromise on a long-term contract Monday. As a result, the 31-year-old wide receiver will play the 2012 season under the team's franchise tag before becoming an unrestricted free agent. Negotiations between the two sides were rocky throughout the offseason despite Welker coming off a career season during which he caught 122 passes for 1,569 yards and nine touchdowns.

Welker will earn $9.5 million next season under the franchise tender. In 2011, he played under a one-year tender despite an offer for two years, $16 million from the Pats. The organization reportedly offered less during contract negotiations in May.

For more on the New England Patriots, visit SB Nation's Patriots blog Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston.

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